Special Issue "Effect of Biochar Application on Soil Physical Properties and Soil Water Availability"
A special issue of Agronomy (ISSN 2073-4395).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2017)
Biochar has been widely promoted as a means to improve a range of soil properties, including soil density, water holding capacity, plant available water content, infiltration, and drainage. Biochar is a highly porous, predominantly stable, recalcitrant organic carbon compound created by pyrolysis of natural organic materials at temperatures between 300 and 1000 °C under low or no oxygen conditions. Biochars consist of multiple interconnected networks of miropores, mesopores and macropores, which have the potential to directly contribute to soil porosity and, thus, water storage and availability. Biochar may also facilitate the creation of packing or accommodation pores between biochar and the surrounding soil aggregates, act to prevent the loss of existing soil pores by improving aggregate stability, or create biopores by increasing invertebrate activity or root growth. Research on the effects of biochar on soil porosity and water availability has yielded mixed results with at least some biochars, when applied to some soils, at some rates resulting in the creation of macropores and mesopores resulting in measurable improvements in hydraulic conductivity, soil water holding capacity, etc. However, considerable uncertainty exists as to which biochars, or which biochar properties, are able to produce measurable improvement in soil porosity and function for a wide range of in situ agricultural soils.
Dr. Marcus Hardie
Manuscript Submission Information
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- Soil water holding capacity
- Soil water retention
- Plant available water content
- Soil density