Effect of Biochar Application on Soil Aggregates Distribution and Moisture Retention in Orchard Soil

An, Y.; Ji, Q.; Zhao, S.-x.; Wang, X.-d.

Huan Jing Ke Xue= Huanjing Kexue 37(1): 293-300


ISSN/ISBN: 0250-3301
PMID: 27078970
Accession: 057693150

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Applying biochar to soil has been considered to be one of the important practices in improving soil properties and increasing carbon sequestration. In order to investigate the effects of biochar application on soil aggregates distribution and its organic matter content and soil moisture constant in different size aggregates, various particle-size fractions of soil aggregates were obtained with the dry-screening method. The results showed that, compared to the treatment without biochar (CK), the application of biochar reduced the mass content of 5-8 mm and < 0.25 mm soil aggregates at 0-10 cm soil horizon, while increased the content of 1-2 mm and 2-5 mm soil aggregates at this horizon, and the content of 1-2 mm aggregates significantly increased along with the rates of biochar application. The mean diameter of soil aggregates was reduced by biochar application at 0-10 cm soil horizon. However, the effect of biochar application on the mean diameter of soil aggregates at 10-20 cm soil horizon was not significant. Compared to CK, biochar application significantly increased soil organic carbon content in aggregates, especially in 1-2 mm aggregates which was increased by > 70% compared to CK. Both the water holding capacity and soil porosity were significantly increased by biochar application. Furthermore, the neutral biochar was more effective than alkaline biochar in increasing soil moisture.