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ARS Home » Southeast Area » New Orleans, Louisiana » Southern Regional Research Center » Commodity Utilization Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #388190

Research Project: Improved Conversion of Sugar Crops into Food, Biofuels, Biochemicals, and Bioproducts

Location: Commodity Utilization Research

Title: Temperature and moisture mediated changes in chemical and microbial properties of biochars in an Anthrosol

Author
item LI, MING - NANJING INSTITUTE OF ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES
item LONG, TAO - NANJING INSTITUTE OF ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES
item LIU, MING - CHINESE ACADEMY OF SCIENCES, NANJING BRANCH
item WU, MENG - CHINESE ACADEMY OF SCIENCES, NANJING BRANCH
item LI, ZHONGPEI - CHINESE ACADEMY OF SCIENCES, NANJING BRANCH
item FAN, TINGTING - NANJING INSTITUTE OF ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES
item WANG, LEI - NANJING INSTITUTE OF ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES
item Uchimiya, Sophie

Submitted to: Science of the Total Environment
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/4/2022
Publication Date: 7/7/2022
Citation: Li, M., Long, T., Tian, K., Wei, C., Liu, M., Wu, M., Li, Z., Uchimiya, M. 2022. Temperature and moisture mediated changes in chemical and microbial properties of biochars in an Anthrosol. Science of The Total Environment. 845. Article 157219. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.157219.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.157219

Interpretive Summary: Black carbon, including biochar added to agricultural farm, is assumed to be stable. However, evidence is often lacking, and time trend (kineitcs) is important. Experiments in this study was design to monitor the aging of biochar in soil in a real time. Results show how changes in microbial diversity over time impacts nutrient availability and carbon cycle in biochar-amended soils. Notably, climate (rain and temperature) is an important controlling factor of parameters impacting the fertility of agricultural soils.

Technical Abstract: Sequestration of soil carbon is considered as a promising strategy for mitigating climate change. As a source of recalcitrant carbon, biochar has been widely used in agricultural soil as a mean of stabilizing soil organic carbon (SOC). However, limited reports focused on the changes of biochar itself in soil when compared with the bulk SOC after biochar addition. To explore how environmental conditions influence the stability of biochar, isolated straw-derived biochar particles (0.25-2 mm) were embedded in an Anthrosol for 12 months under varied environmental conditions of incubation temperature (15°C, 25°C and 35°C) and moisture (60% and 150% of saturated water content). Within the early 1 month of incubation, pH and inorganic nitrogen contents of biochar changed significantly as a function of moisture and temperature (p < 0.01), whereas water extractable organic carbon (WEOC) content was only influenced by moisture content (p < 0.01). The highest temperature (35°C) and saturated water content (150%) induced the largest aging response reflected by increases in oxygen-containing surface functional groups of biochar, including C-O-C (51.35% – 149%)and N-C-O (65.55% – 119%). Pearson correlation and RDA analysis indicated that the chemical properties of biochar contribute more to the carbon-source utilization properties of biochar colonized microbial community within 1 month of incubation, while the bulk soil chemical properties (pH, DOC, MBC and NO3-) had a higher contribution until the end of incubation. Moisture rather than temperature was the dominant factor in regulating the functional diversity of biochar colonized microbial community.