πŸ“„ Biochar Reduces the Stability of Soil Aggregates during Intensive Leaching Experiment

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Dec-02 Wed 23:48
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Agronomy, Vol. 10, Pages 1910: Biochar Reduces the Stability of Soil Aggregates during Intensive Leaching Experiment

Agronomy doi: 10.3390/agronomy10121910

Authors: Nikola Teutscherova Bohdan Lojka Marta Benito Alberto Masaguer Eduardo VΓ‘zquez

The interplay of different mechanisms shaping the biochar impact on soil structure remains relatively unexplored. We investigated the impact of biochar application to two contrasting soils on the stability of soil aggregates under an intensive intermittent leaching regime. A greenhouse experiment was established using PVC columns filled with 500 g soil from an Acrisol or Calcisol amended with three biochar applications (0, 1 and 2% w/w). The columns were watered weekly (100 mL) during two leaching cycles (each lasting 10 weeks). The amount of leached base cations, the stability of 1–2 mm aggregates fraction and soil chemical properties were determined. Biochar enhanced the leaching of the studied cations, but the content of base cations and effective cation exchange capacity remained higher in the biochar-amended Acrisol when compared to control soil. In both soils, biochar reduced the amount of water-stable aggregates, which seemed to be attributed to the increase of K in the exchange complex in the Acrisol while no significant correlation was detected between aggregation in Calcisol and other variables. The negative impact of biochar on soil aggregation is likely linked to higher sensitivity of biochar-amended soils to aggregate disruption under changing moisture conditions caused by frequent and intensive leaching events. These results highlight the gaps in our understanding of biochar impact on soil aggregation, which have implications for soil erodibility or restoration of degraded lands under changing climate.

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