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Enhanced biological N2 fixation and yield of faba bean (Vicia faba L.) in an acid soil following biochar addition: dissection of causal mechanisms

TitleEnhanced biological N2 fixation and yield of faba bean (Vicia faba L.) in an acid soil following biochar addition: dissection of causal mechanisms
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsZwieten, Lukas Van, Rose Terry, Herridge David, Kimber Stephen, Rust Josh, Cowie Annette, and Morris Stephen
JournalPlant and Soil
ISSN1573-5036
Abstract
Background and aims
Acid soils constrain legume growth and biochars have been shown to address these constraints and enhance biological N2 fixation in glasshouse studies. A dissection of causal mechanisms from multiple crop field studies is lacking.
Methods
In a sub-tropical field study, faba bean (Vicia faba L.) was cultivated in rotation with corn (Zea mays) following amendment of two contrasting biochars, compost and lime in a rhodic ferralsol. Key soil parameters and plant nutrient uptake were investigated alongside stable 15 N isotope methodologies to elucidate the causal mechanisms for enhanced biological N2 fixation and crop productivity.
Results
Biological N2 fixation was associated with plant Mo uptake, which was driven by reductions in soil acidity following lime and papermill (PM) biochar amendment. In contrast, crop yield was associated with plant P and B uptake, and amelioration of soil pH constraints. These were most effectively ameliorated by PM biochar as it addressed both pH constraints and low soil nutrient status.
Conclusions
While liming resulted in the highest biological N2 fixation, biochars provided greater benefits to faba bean yield by addressing P nutrition and ameliorating Al toxicity.
URLhttp://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11104-015-2427-3
DOI10.1007/s11104-015-2427-3
Short TitlePlant Soil