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The role of biochar in retaining nutrients in amended tropical soils
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2014 (English)In: Journal of Plant Nutrition And Soil Science/Zeitschrift für Pflanzenernahrung und Bodenkunde, ISSN 1436-8730, E-ISSN 1522-2624, Vol. 177, no 5, 671-680 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study investigated the effect of biochar amendments on the retention and availability of plant nutrients and Al in seven acidic tropical soils from Zambia and Indonesia. The experiments carried out investigated whether the adsorption capacity of NH4+ in the soils increased upon the addition of biochar and which effect biochar had on available concentrations of NO3-, K+, Mn2+, Mg2+, PO43-, and Al3+. These nutrients were selected as they represent those important to plant growth and soil quality. No significant increases or decreases in aqueous NH4+-N concentration with additions of biochar were detected. The Gaines-Thomas model was used in order to calculate selectivity coefficients for NH4+ exchange (K-gt values). Following the addition of biochar to soil, K-gt values decreased showing a reduction in the selective binding of NH4+ in the biochar amended soil compared to the control. The concentration of NO3- increased following the addition of biochar to the soils. The addition of 5 and 10% biochar to the Indonesian soil did not significantly alter (t-test confidence level 0.05) the sorption of PO43- to the soil-biochar mixtures as compared to the soil alone. However, the addition of biochar to the soil from Zambia increased the sorption of PO43- compared to the soil alone. The concentrations of K+ and Mg2+ were significantly increased for almost all soils (t-test at the 0.05 confidence level) following the addition of biochar. Addition of biochar to all but two soils significantly decreased (t-test confidence level 0.05) Mn2+ concentrations. The concentration of Al3+ in the soils decreased exponentially significantly (t-test confidence level 0.05) following the amendment of biochar in accordance with the increase in pH observed when biochar was added to the soil. These results show that biochar has the ability to release essential plant growth nutrients as well as alleviate Al toxicity in these soils.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 177, no 5, 671-680 p.
Keyword [en]
nutrients, tropical soil, biochar, aluminum, phosphate
National Category
Biological Sciences Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-109004DOI: 10.1002/jpln.201400109ISI: 000342852200002OAI: diva2:768868


Available from: 2014-12-05 Created: 2014-11-10 Last updated: 2014-12-05Bibliographically approved

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Cornelissen, Gerard
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Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM)
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Journal of Plant Nutrition And Soil Science/Zeitschrift für Pflanzenernahrung und Bodenkunde
Biological SciencesEarth and Related Environmental Sciences

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