Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 23, pp 23106–23116 | Cite as

Evaluating the effects of phytoremediation with biochar additions on soil nitrogen mineralization enzymes and fungi

  • Manyun ZhangEmail author
  • Jun Wang
  • Shahla Hosseini Bai
  • Ying TengEmail author
  • Zhihong XuEmail author
Research Article


Phytoremediation with biochar addition might alleviate pollutant toxicity to soil microorganism. It is uncertain to what extent biochar addition rate could affect activities of enzymes related to soil nitrogen (N) mineralization and alter fungal community under the phytoremediation. This study aimed to reveal the effects of Medicago sativa L. (alfalfa) phytoremediation, alone or with biochar additions, on soil protease and chitinase and fungal community and link the responses of microbial parameters with biochar addition rates. The alfalfa phytoremediation enhanced soil protease activities, and relative to the phytoremediation alone, biochar additions had inconsistent impacts on the corresponding functional gene abundances. Compared with the blank control, alfalfa phytoremediation, alone or with biochar additions, increased fungal biomass and community richness estimators. Moreover, relative to the phytoremediation alone, the relative abundances of phylum Zygomycota were also increased by biochar additions. The whole soil fungal community was not significantly changed by the alfalfa phytoremediation alone, but was indeed changed by alfalfa phytoremediation with 3.0% (w/w) or 6.0% biochar addition. This study suggested that alfalfa phytoremediation could enhance N mineralization enzyme activities and that biochar addition rates affected the responses of fungal community to the alfalfa phytoremediation.


Medicago sativa L. Biochar Protease Chitinase Fungal biomass and community 



We sincerely thank the support from the Griffith University Ph.D. scholarships and from the Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars of Jiangsu Province, China (no. BK20150049).

Supplementary material

11356_2018_2425_MOESM1_ESM.docx (106 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 106 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Environmental Futures Research Institute, School of Natural SciencesGriffith UniversityBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Soil Environment and Pollution Remediation, Institute of Soil ScienceChinese Academy of SciencesNanjingChina
  3. 3.Chongqing Research Academy of Environmental SciencesChongqingChina
  4. 4.GeneCology Research Centre, Faculty of Science, Health, Education and EngineeringUniversity of the Sunshine CoastMaroochydore DCAustralia

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