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Biochar increased water holding capacity but accelerated organic carbon leaching from a sloping farmland soil in China

TitleBiochar increased water holding capacity but accelerated organic carbon leaching from a sloping farmland soil in China
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsLiu, Chen, Wang Honglan, Tang Xiangyu, Guan Zhuo, Reid Brian J., Rajapaksha Anushka Upamali, Ok Yong Sik, and Sun Hui
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
ISSN1614-7499
Abstract

A hydrologically contained field study, to assess biochar (produced from mixed crop straws) influence upon soil hydraulic properties and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) leaching, was conducted on a loamy soil (entisol). The soil, noted for its low plant-available water and low soil organic matter, is the most important arable soil type in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River catchment, China. Pore size distribution characterization (by N2 adsorption, mercury intrusion, and water retention) showed that the biochar had a tri-modal pore size distribution. This included pores with diameters in the range of 0.1–10 μm that can retain plant-available water. Comparison of soil water retention curves between the control (0) and the biochar plots (16 t ha−1 on dry weight basis) demonstrated biochar amendment to increase soil water holding capacity. However, significant increases in DOC concentration of soil pore water in both the plough layer and the undisturbed subsoil layer were observed in the biochar-amended plots. An increased loss of DOC relative to the control was observed upon rainfall events. Measurements of excitation-emission matrix (EEM) fluorescence indicated the DOC increment originated primarily from the organic carbon pool in the soil that became more soluble following biochar incorporation.

URLhttp://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11356-015-4885-9
DOI10.1007/s11356-015-4885-9
Short TitleEnviron Sci Pollut Res