Incorporation of corn straw biochar inhibited the re-acidification of four acidic soils derived from different parent materials Research Article First Online: 23 January 2018 Received: 23 October 2017 Accepted: 15 January 2018 Abstract
The effect of corn straw biochar on inhibiting the re-acidification of acid soils derived from different parent materials due to increased soil pH buffering capacity (pHBC) was investigated using indoor incubation and simulated acidification experiments. The incorporation of the biochar increased the pHBC of all four soils due to the increase in soil cation exchange capacity (CEC). When 5% biochar was incorporated, the pHBC was increased by 62, 27, 32, and 24% for the Ultisols derived from Tertiary red sandstone, Quaternary red earth, granite, and the Oxisol derived from basalt, respectively. Ca(OH)
2 and the biochar were added to adjust the soil pH to the same values, and then HNO 3 was added to acidify these amended soils. The results of this simulated acidification indicated that the decrease in soil pH induced by HNO 3 was lower for the treatments with the biochar added than that of the treatments with Ca(OH) 2 added. Consequently, the biochar could inhibit the re-acidification of the amended acid soils due to the increased resistance of the soils to acidification when the pH of amended soil was higher than 5.5. The inhibiting effectiveness of the biochar on soil re-acidification was greater in the Ultisol derived from Tertiary red sandstone due to its lower clay and organic matter contents and CEC than the other three soils. The incorporation of the biochar also decreased the potentially reactive Al, i.e., exchangeable Al, organically bound Al, and sorbed hydroxyl Al, compared with the treatments amended with Ca(OH) 2. Therefore, the incorporation of corn straw biochar not only inhibited the re-acidification of amended acid soils through increasing their resistance to acidification but also decreased the potential of Al toxicity generated during re-acidification. Keywords Corn straw biochar Acidic soil pH buffering capacity Soil re-acidification Potential reactive Al pool
Responsible editor: Zhihong Xu
This study was supported by the National Key Basic Research Program of China (Grant Number 2014CB441003) and the National Key Research and Development of China (Grant Number 2016YFD0200302).
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