Next Article in Journal
How Management Factors Influence Weed Communities of Cereals, Their Diversity and Endangered Weed Species in Central Europe
Previous Article in Journal
Turnover of Minerals and Organics in the Postharvest Herbage of Annuals and Perennials: Winter Wheat and Goldenrod
Article Menu
Issue 11 (November) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle

Miscanthus Biochar had Limited Effects on Soil Physical Properties, Microbial Biomass, and Grain Yield in a Four-Year Field Experiment in Norway

Department of Soil Quality and Climate Change, Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research, Høgskoleveien 7, 1430 Ås, Norway
Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resource Management, Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU), 1432 Ås, Norway
Soil Geography and Landscape Group, Wageningen University, 6700 Wageningen, The Netherlands
Laboratory of Plant and Microbial Ecology, InBioS, Botany B22, Chemin de la Vallée 4, University of Liège, 4000 Liège, Belgium
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agriculture 2018, 8(11), 171;
Received: 13 August 2018 / Revised: 8 October 2018 / Accepted: 18 October 2018 / Published: 27 October 2018
PDF [3662 KB, uploaded 27 October 2018]


The application of biochar to soils is a promising technique for increasing soil organic C and offsetting GHG emissions. However, large-scale adoption by farmers will likely require the proof of its utility to improve plant growth and soil quality. In this context, we conducted a four-year field experiment between October 2010 to October 2014 on a fertile silty clay loam Albeluvisol in Norway to assess the impact of biochar on soil physical properties, soil microbial biomass, and oat and barley yield. The following treatments were included: Control (soil), miscanthus biochar 8 t C ha−1 (BC8), miscanthus straw feedstock 8 t C ha−1 (MC8), and miscanthus biochar 25 t C ha−1 (BC25). Average volumetric water content at field capacity was significantly higher in BC25 when compared to the control due to changes in BD and total porosity. The biochar amendment had no effect on soil aggregate (2–6 mm) stability, pore size distribution, penetration resistance, soil microbial biomass C and N, and basal respiration. Biochar did not alter crop yields of oat and barley during the four growing seasons. In order to realize biochar’s climate mitigation potential, we suggest future research and development efforts should focus on improving the agronomic utility of biochar in engineered fertilizer and soil amendment products. View Full-Text
Keywords: biochar; miscanthus; Norway biochar; miscanthus; Norway

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Supplementary materials


Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

O’Toole, A.; Moni, C.; Weldon, S.; Schols, A.; Carnol, M.; Bosman, B.; Rasse, D.P. Miscanthus Biochar had Limited Effects on Soil Physical Properties, Microbial Biomass, and Grain Yield in a Four-Year Field Experiment in Norway. Agriculture 2018, 8, 171.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Agriculture EISSN 2077-0472 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top