Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 22, Issue 23, pp 18977–18986 | Cite as

Enhanced rice production but greatly reduced carbon emission following biochar amendment in a metal-polluted rice paddy

  • Afeng Zhang
  • Rongjun Bian
  • Lianqing Li
  • Xudong Wang
  • Ying Zhao
  • Qaiser Hussain
  • Genxing PanEmail author
Research Article


Soil amendment of biochar (BSA) had been shown effective for mitigating greenhouse gas (GHG) emission and alleviating metal stress to plants and microbes in soil. It has not yet been addressed if biochar exerts synergy effects on crop production, GHG emission, and microbial activity in metal-polluted soils. In a field experiment, biochar was amended at sequential rates at 0, 10, 20, and 40 t ha−1, respectively, in a cadmium- and lead-contaminated rice paddy from the Tai lake Plain, China, before rice cropping in 2010. Fluxes of soil carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O) were monitored using a static chamber method during the whole rice growing season (WRGS) of 2011. BSA significantly reduced soil CaCl2 extractable pool of Cd, and DTPA extractable pool of Cd and Pb. As compared to control, soil CO2 emission under BSA was observed to have no change at 10 t ha−1 but decreased by 16–24 % at 20 and 40 t ha−1. In a similar trend, BSA at 20 and 40 t ha−1 increased rice yield by 25–26 % and thus enhanced ecosystem CO2 sequestration by 47–55 % over the control. Seasonal total N2O emission was reduced by 7.1, 30.7, and 48.6 % under BSA at 10, 20, and 40 t ha−1, respectively. Overall, a net reduction in greenhouse gas balance (NGHGB) by 53.9–62.8 % and in greenhouse gas intensity (GHGI) by 14.3–28.6 % was observed following BSA at 20 and 40 t ha−1. The present study suggested a great potential of biochar to enhancing grain yield while reducing carbon emission in metal-polluted rice paddies.


Wheat-straw-derived biochar Metal contamination Rice paddy Greenhouse gas emissions Net greenhouse gas balance 



Biochar soil amendment


Greenhouse gases


Greenhouse gas intensity


Net ecosystem exchange of CO2


Net greenhouse gas balance


Net primary production


Soil heterotrophic respiration



This study was partially supported by the Natural Science Foundation of China under a grant number (41301305, 40830528, 41001130) and the Ministry of Science and Technology of China under a grant number of 2008BAD95B13-1 and 2011BAD29B09, and by the Jiangsu Education Department with a Project funding for Priority Disciplines.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Afeng Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Rongjun Bian
    • 2
  • Lianqing Li
    • 2
  • Xudong Wang
    • 1
  • Ying Zhao
    • 1
  • Qaiser Hussain
    • 3
  • Genxing Pan
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Plant Nutrition and the Agro-environment in Northwest China, Ministry of Agriculture; College of Natural Resources and EnvironmentNorthwest A&F UniversityYanglingChina
  2. 2.Institute of Resource, Ecosystem and Environment of AgricultureNanjing Agricultural UniversityNanjingChina
  3. 3.Department of Soil Science and Soil Water ConservationPir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture UniversityRawalpindiPakistan

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