Impact of biochar, compost and biochar-compost on crop yield, soil quality and greenhouse gas emissions in agricultural soils

Agegnehu, Getachew, Nelson, Paul N., and Bird, Michael I. (2016) Impact of biochar, compost and biochar-compost on crop yield, soil quality and greenhouse gas emissions in agricultural soils. In: Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Life Science & Biological Engineering, pp. 194-209. From: LSBE: 5th International Conference on Life Science & Biological Engineering, 22-24 November 2016, Kyoto, Japan.

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Abstract

Soil quality decline has been the major threat for the ecological and agricultural sustainability. This study investigated the effects of biochar and compost, applied individually or together, on soil fertility, crop yield and greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes in tropical agricultural Ferralsols of north Queensland, Australia. The treatments comprised 1) control; 2) 10 t ha-1 biochar; 3) 25 t compost ha-1; 4) 2.5 t biochar ha-1 + 25 t compost ha-1 mixed on site; and 5) 25 t ha-1 biochar and compost composted together (COMBI). Application of biochar, compost and their mixture increased maize grain yield by 10-29% compared to fertilizer alone. Significant organic amendment-induced improvements to plant growth and soil available nutrients were observed. Plant parameters such as leaf chlorophyll were significantly increased by the organic treatments. Soil physicochemical properties including soil water content (SWC), total soil organic carbon (SOC), total nitrogen (N), available phosphorus (P), exchangeable cations and cation exchange capacity (CEC) were significantly increased by the organic amendments. Maize grain yield was correlated positively with total biomass, leaf chlorophyll, foliar N and P content, SOC and SWC. Emissions of CO2 and N2O were higher from the organic-amended soils than from the fertilizer-only control. However, N2O emissions generally decreased over time for all treatments and emission from the biochar was lower compared to other treatments. However, the amount of conventional fertilizer that could be reduced and the resultant economic benefit because of addition of these amendments need further study for longer-term economic and environmental sustainability.

Item ID: 47801
Item Type: Conference Item (Non-Refereed Research Paper)
Keywords: biochar, carbon sequestration, greenhouse gas fluxes, soil quality, yield introduction
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ISSN: 978-986-89298-1-4
Date Deposited: 03 Apr 2017 01:40
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070101 Agricultural Land Management @ 60%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0503 Soil Sciences > 050301 Carbon Sequestration Science @ 40%
SEO Codes: 82 PLANT PRODUCTION AND PLANT PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8204 Summer Grains and Oilseeds > 820401 Maize @ 40%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960904 Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Land Management @ 60%
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