The application of biochar is presumed to be a climate change mitigation strategy in agriculture. However, we still need to better understand the effects of biochar application on soil properties, particularly on soil microbial activity. This is because soil microorganisms play a key role in ecosystems functioning, as they have a central role in soil metabolic activity given that they are responsible for soil organic matter decomposition and nutrient cycling. Conversely, little is known about how climate change will affect the soil microbial activity. In a rainfed field experiment, we studied the effect of forecasted warming and rainfall reduction on soil respiration and soil enzymatic activities after 3 years of consecutive application of biochar at a rate of 20 t/ha on a barley-camelina-fallow rotation in a semiarid region in Central Spain. Soil respiration was not affected by the application of biochar or/and warming and rainfall reduction treatments in comparison to the control treatment (no amendment). However, biochar amended soils had lower temperature sensitivity of soil C mineralization in the first two years when soils were cultivated but higher temperature sensitivity of soil C mineralization in the third year during fallow treatment. Enzymes involved in the C and N cycles (dehydrogenase, β-glucosidase and urease) significantly increased their activity under warming and rainfall reduction treatments, albeit biochar application tended to decrease the enzymatic activity under those treatments.

Short-term response of soil respiration and soil enzymatic activities to biochar application in semiarid agricultural soils under a climate change scenario

Zaccone, Claudio;
2021

Abstract

The application of biochar is presumed to be a climate change mitigation strategy in agriculture. However, we still need to better understand the effects of biochar application on soil properties, particularly on soil microbial activity. This is because soil microorganisms play a key role in ecosystems functioning, as they have a central role in soil metabolic activity given that they are responsible for soil organic matter decomposition and nutrient cycling. Conversely, little is known about how climate change will affect the soil microbial activity. In a rainfed field experiment, we studied the effect of forecasted warming and rainfall reduction on soil respiration and soil enzymatic activities after 3 years of consecutive application of biochar at a rate of 20 t/ha on a barley-camelina-fallow rotation in a semiarid region in Central Spain. Soil respiration was not affected by the application of biochar or/and warming and rainfall reduction treatments in comparison to the control treatment (no amendment). However, biochar amended soils had lower temperature sensitivity of soil C mineralization in the first two years when soils were cultivated but higher temperature sensitivity of soil C mineralization in the third year during fallow treatment. Enzymes involved in the C and N cycles (dehydrogenase, β-glucosidase and urease) significantly increased their activity under warming and rainfall reduction treatments, albeit biochar application tended to decrease the enzymatic activity under those treatments.
biochar, soil, enzymatic activity, climate change
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1042983
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact