Effect of biogas digested slurry based-biochar and digested liquid on N2O, CO2 flux and crop yield for three continuous cropping cycles of komatsuna (Brassica rapa var. perviridis)
Biogas production generates digested slurry, as a byproduct, which can be used as fertilizer after its conversion into digested liquid and biochar. A microcosm-based study was conducted to evaluate the effects of chemical fertilizer (CF), digested liquid (DL) and varying concentrations of biogas digested slurry based-biochar along with DL on N2O flux, CO2 flux, soil chemical properties and crop yield for three continuous cropping cycles of komatsuna (Brassica rapa var. perviridis) from April to July 2013. Analyses revealed that DL-treated soils released almost equal cumulative amounts of N2O and CO2 as soils treated with CF. The soil mineral-N contents were also similar for the DL- and CF-treated soils while DL application increased the soluble organic carbon (SOC) content of the soil compared to CF treatment. The application of slurry-based biochar increased N2O and CO2 flux, which, in turn, appeared to depend upon biochar concentration. The application of biochar probably increased the nitrification rate as biochar-treated soils had higher values of NO3 −-N and lower values of NH4 +-N compared to soils not treated with biochar at most of the observations. The SOC content was also the highest in biochar-treated soils. The overall crop yield for three cropping cycles was the highest in DL and biochar at low application rate (BL), and it was lower in CF, biochar at medium (BM) and high (BH) application rate. This study indicates that the application of DL could be an effective strategy to minimize the use of CF, without affecting N2O flux, CO2 flux, soil mineral N, and increasing crop productivity. The effects of slurry-based biochar on greenhouse gases flux and crop yield depends on the application rate of biochar.
KeywordsAgriculture Biochar CO2 flux Crop yield Digested liquid N2O flux
The first author is thankful to ICAR (Indian Council of Agricultural Research), India to provide financial support under International Fellowship Scheme to carry out this study. We are also thankful to Dr. Masato Nakamura, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization, Japan to provide the biogas byproducts.
Conflict of interest
The authors have no conflict of interest.
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