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Sustainability 2017, 9(8), 1482; doi:10.3390/su9081482

Effects of Biochar Application on CO2 Emissions from a Cultivated Soil under Semiarid Climate Conditions in Northwest China

1
State Key Laboratory of Soil Erosion and Dryland Farming on the Loess Plateau, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, China
2
College of Natural Resources and Environment, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 June 2017 / Revised: 27 July 2017 / Accepted: 16 August 2017 / Published: 21 August 2017
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Abstract

Biochar amendments to soil have potential as a climate change mitigation strategy. However, their effect on carbon exchange in different ecosystems has not been well evaluated. Understanding how biochar affects carbon exchange from agricultural soil is essential for clarifying the contribution of biochar management to the carbon budget. We performed a laboratory and a two-year field experiment to investigate the short- and medium-term effects of biochar application on CO2 emissions from semiarid farmland. There was no statistically significant alteration in the cumulative CO2 emissions from the mixture of soil with biochar alone, while the emissions increased significantly with additional nitrogen amendment over the 46-day experimental period. Over the two-year experimental period, the cumulative CO2 emissions from the field experiment decreased in the biochar-amended treatment, and the effects were significant at high application rates (20 and 30 t·ha−1) relative to the control in the MS. The seasonal CO2 dynamics were strongly dependent on soil temperature, with a higher correlation with the temperature at a depth of 10cm than with the temperature at a depth of 0cm. Soil temperature, rather than soil water content, was the major environmental factor controlling the soil carbon exchange in the semiarid farmland of the Loess Plateau. In general, biochar additions enhanced aboveground dry matter accumulation in both the early and late stages of maize growth. The results suggested that biochar amendment was a preferable management practice to help maintain or increase carbon sequestration for this region with lower CO2 emissions and higher dry matter production over a longer period. View Full-Text
Keywords: biochar rate; nitrogen; mineralization; C sequestration; dryland biochar rate; nitrogen; mineralization; C sequestration; dryland
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Shen, Y.; Zhu, L.; Cheng, H.; Yue, S.; Li, S. Effects of Biochar Application on CO2 Emissions from a Cultivated Soil under Semiarid Climate Conditions in Northwest China. Sustainability 2017, 9, 1482.

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