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Open AccessArticle

Effect of Biochar and Irrigation on Soybean-Rhizobium Symbiotic Performance and Soil Enzymatic Activity in Field Rhizosphere

1
Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), 15374 Müncheberg, Germany
2
Faculty of Life Sciences, Humboldt-University of Berlin, 10099 Berlin, Germany
3
Laboratory of Biogeography and Bioresource in Arid Land, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi 830001, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agronomy 2019, 9(10), 626; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy9100626
Received: 3 August 2019 / Revised: 3 October 2019 / Accepted: 4 October 2019 / Published: 10 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rhizobium–Legume Symbiosis)
Nitrogen (N) in soybean (Glycine max L.) plants derived from biological nitrogen fixation was shown to be a sustainable N resource to substitute for N fertilizer. However, the limited water supply in sandy soil is a critical factor for soybean nodulation and crop growth. This study investigated the potential mechanism of the effect of biochar and irrigation on the soybean-Rhizobium symbiotic performance and soil biological activity in a field trial. In the absence of N fertilizer, 10 t ha−1 of black cherry wood-derived biochar were applied under irrigated and rainfed conditions on an experimental, sandy field site. The plant biomass, plant nutrient concentrations, nodule number, nodule leghemoglobin content, soil enzyme activities, and soil-available nutrients were examined. Our results show that biochar application caused a significant increase in the nodule number by 35% in the irrigated condition. Shoot biomass and soil fluorescein diacetate hydrolytic activity were significantly increased by irrigation in comparison to the rainfed condition. The activity of soil protease reduced significantly, by 8%, with the biochar application in the irrigated condition. Further, a linear correlation analysis and redundancy analysis performed on the plant, nodule, and soil variables suggested that the biochar application may affect soybean N uptake in the sandy field. Nodulation was enhanced with biochar addition, however, the plant N concentration and nodule Lb content remained unaffected. View Full-Text
Keywords: biochar; biological nitrogen fixation; leghemoglobin; nitrogen cycling; nodulation; soil enzymatic activity biochar; biological nitrogen fixation; leghemoglobin; nitrogen cycling; nodulation; soil enzymatic activity
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Ma, H.; Egamberdieva, D.; Wirth, S.; Bellingrath-Kimura, S.D. Effect of Biochar and Irrigation on Soybean-Rhizobium Symbiotic Performance and Soil Enzymatic Activity in Field Rhizosphere. Agronomy 2019, 9, 626.

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