Benefits of biochar application for sandy loam Albic Luvisol

Tatyana V. Abramova, Natalya P. Buchkina


Article Details: Received: 2021-10-20 | Accepted: 2021-10-30 | Available online: 2021-12-31


Biochar application as a method to retain nutrients in soils is being very widely discussed in the scientific literature. The aim of this study was to test wheather a comercially produced slow pyrolysis biochar affected mineral nitrogen leaching from arable sandy loam Albic Luvisol and wheather it was affecting water retention capacity of the soil and root growth at the very early stage of root developement. Two laboratory experiments were conducted. The leaching experiment included four treatments: S – control soil; SB20 – soil + biochar (20 t ha-1); SF – soil + fertiliser (120 kg N ha-1); SB20F – soil + biochar (20 t ha-1) + fertiliser (120 N kg ha-1) with spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) sown. The leachate from the soil with the treatments was analised for pH and available nitrogen in ammonium (NH4 +) and nitrate (NO3 −) forms. The water retention capacity of the soil after the leaching experiment was measured at water potentials between -5, and -300 kPa. In the second experiment watercress (Lepidium sativum L.) was used to study the root growth in the aqueous extracts from the studied soil with different amendments. The results of the conducted studies have shown that the tested biochar did not help in preventing NO3 − or NH4 + leaching from the arable sandy loam Albic Luvisol. Waterholding capacity of the studied soil was increasing after biochar application only at water potentials of -5 kPa and -10 kPa that corresponded to the soil capillary water. The extract from the biochar had a stimulating effect on the watercress root growth.

Keywords: biochar, toxicity, nutrient leaching, laboratory study, light textured soil



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