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Biochar Amendment Affects Soil Water and CO2 Regime during Capsicum Annuum Plant Growth

1
Institute of Soil Sciences and Agricultural Chemistry, Centre for Agricultural Research, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Herman O. St. 15, 1022 Budapest, Hungary
2
Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research, Frederik A. Dahls vei 20, 1430 Ås, Norway
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agronomy 2019, 9(2), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy9020058
Received: 20 December 2018 / Revised: 24 January 2019 / Accepted: 25 January 2019 / Published: 28 January 2019
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Abstract

Recent studies on using soil enhancer material, such as biochar, provide varying results from a soil hydrological and chemical perspective. Therefore, research focusing on soil-biochar-plant interactions is still necessary to enhance our knowledge on complex effects of biochar on soil characteristics. The present study investigated the changes in soil water content (SWC) and soil respiration (belowground CO2 production) over time during the growth of Capsicum annuum (pepper) in pot experiments. Concurrently, we investigated the influence of grain husk biochar with the amount of 0, 0.5%, 2.5%, and 5.0% (by weight) added to silt loam soil. Pepper plants were grown under natural environmental conditions to better represent field conditions, and additional irrigation was applied. SWC among treatments showed minor changes to precipitation during the beginning of the study while plants were in the growing phase. The highest water holding throughout the experiment was observed in the case of BC5.0. CO2 production increased in biochar amended soils during the first few days of the experiments; while the overall cumulative CO2 production was the highest in control and the lowest in BC2.5 treatments. We used the HYDRUS 1D soil hydrological model to simulate changes in SWC, using the control treatment without biochar as a reference data source for model calibration. The simulated SWC dynamics fitted well the measured ones in all treatments. Therefore, the HYDRUS 1D can be an exceptionally valuable tool to predict the hydrological response of different amount of biochar addition to silt loam soil including plant growth. View Full-Text
Keywords: HYDRUS 1D; modeling; CO2 respiration; greenhouse gas emission; irrigation; pepper; temperate soil HYDRUS 1D; modeling; CO2 respiration; greenhouse gas emission; irrigation; pepper; temperate soil
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Horel, Á.; Tóth, E.; Gelybó, G.; Dencső, M.; Farkas, C. Biochar Amendment Affects Soil Water and CO2 Regime during Capsicum Annuum Plant Growth. Agronomy 2019, 9, 58.

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