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No Effect Level of Co-Composted Biochar on Plant Growth and Soil Properties in a Greenhouse Experiment

Soil Biogeochemistry, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Von-Seckendorff-Platz 3, Halle 06120, Germany
Sonnenerde, Oberwarterstraße 100, Riedlingsdorf A-7422, Austria
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agronomy 2014, 4(1), 34-51;
Received: 10 October 2013 / Revised: 13 December 2013 / Accepted: 23 December 2013 / Published: 22 January 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biochar as Option for Sustainable Resource Management)
It is claimed that the addition of biochar to soil improves C sequestration, soil fertility and plant growth, especially when combined with organic fertilizers such as compost. However, little is known about agricultural effects of small amounts of composted biochar. This greenhouse study was carried out to examine effects of co-composted biochar on oat (Avena sativa L.) yield in both sandy and loamy soil. The aim of this study was to test whether biochar effects can be observed at very low biochar concentrations. To test a variety of application amounts below 3 Mg biochar ha−1, we co-composted five different biochar concentrations (0, 3, 5, 10 kg Mg−1 compost). The biochar-containing compost was applied at five application rates (10, 50, 100, 150, 250 Mg ha−1 20 cm−1). Effects of compost addition on plant growth, Total Organic Carbon, Ntot, pH and soluble nutrients outweighed the effects of the minimal biochar amounts in the composted substrates so that a no effect level of biochar of at least 3 Mg ha−1 could be estimated. View Full-Text
Keywords: biochar; compost; no-effect-level; greenhouse; C management biochar; compost; no-effect-level; greenhouse; C management
MDPI and ACS Style

Schulz, H.; Dunst, G.; Glaser, B. No Effect Level of Co-Composted Biochar on Plant Growth and Soil Properties in a Greenhouse Experiment. Agronomy 2014, 4, 34-51.

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