Biochar from crop residues such as corncobs can be used for soil amendment, but its negative effects have also been reported. This study aims to evaluate the phytotoxic effects of different biochar treatments and application rates on cress (Lepidium sativum
). Corncob biochar was produced via slow pyrolysis without using purging gas. Biochar treatments included fresh biochar (FB), dried biochar (DB), washed biochar (WB), and biochar water extract (WE). Biochar application rates of 10, 20, and 30 t/ha were investigated. Significant phytotoxic effects of biochar were observed on germination rates, shoot length, fresh weight, and dry matter content, while severe toxic effects were identified in FB and WE treatments. Germination rate after 48 h (GR48
) decreased with the increase of biochar application rates in all treatments. The observed order of performance of the biochar treatments for germination, shoot length, and shoot fresh weight for every biochar application rate was WB>DB>WE>FB, while it was the reverse order for the shoot dry matter content. WB treatment showed the best performance in reducing the phytotoxicity of biochar. The mitigation of the phytotoxicity in fresh corncob biochar by washing and heat treatment was found to be a simple and effective method.
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