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Stabilization of Organic Matter by Biochar Application in Compost-amended Soils with Contrasting pH Values and Textures

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Department of Soil and Water Conservation, National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, Pingtung 91201, Taiwan
2
Department of Agricultural Chemistry, National Taiwan University, Taipei 10617, Taiwan
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Department of Geography, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei 10610, Taiwan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marc A. Rosen
Sustainability 2015, 7(10), 13317-13333; https://doi.org/10.3390/su71013317
Received: 17 August 2015 / Revised: 18 September 2015 / Accepted: 24 September 2015 / Published: 29 September 2015
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture)
Food demand and soil sustainability have become urgent concerns because of the impacts of global climate change. In subtropical and tropical regions, practical management that stabilizes and prevents organic fertilizers from rapid decomposition in soils is necessary. This study conducted a short-term (70 days) incubation experiment to assess the effects of biochar application on the decomposition of added bagasse compost in three rural soils with different pH values and textures. Two rice hull biochars, produced through slow pyrolization at 400 °C (RHB-400) and 700 °C (RHB-700), with application rates of 1%, 2%, and 4% (w/w), were separately incorporated into soils with and without compost (1% (w/w) application rate). Experimental results indicated that C mineralization rapidly increased at the beginning in all treatments, particularly in those involving 2% and 4% biochar. The biochar addition increased C mineralization by 7.9%–48% in the compost-amended soils after 70 days incubation while the fractions of mineralized C to applied C significantly decreased. Moreover, the estimated maximum of C mineralization amount in soils treated with both compost and biochar were obviously lower than expectation calculated by a double exponential model (two pool model). Based on the micromorphological observation, added compost was wrapped in the soil aggregates formed after biochar application and then may be protected from decomposing by microbes. Co-application of compost with biochar may be more efficient to stabilize and sequester C than individual application into the studied soils, especially for the biochar produced at high pyrolization temperature. View Full-Text
Keywords: biochar; compost; carbon mineralization; carbon sequestration biochar; compost; carbon mineralization; carbon sequestration
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Jien, S.-H.; Wang, C.-C.; Lee, C.-H.; Lee, T.-Y. Stabilization of Organic Matter by Biochar Application in Compost-amended Soils with Contrasting pH Values and Textures. Sustainability 2015, 7, 13317-13333.

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