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Impact of Biochar on Soil Properties, Pore Water Properties, and Available Cadmium

Abstract

Some effects of biochar on soil properties (such as pore water DOC) are not very clear. The changes of soil properties [cation exchange capacity (CEC)], pore water properties [pH, dissolved organic carbon (DOC), and Cd concentration (CPW-Cd)], Cd concentration measured by diffusive gradients in thin films (CDGT-Cd), and available Cd content (Cd in weak acid extractable state and reducible state, CBCR-Cd) determined by the BCR sequential extraction procedure over time after biochar addition were studied by soil incubation and potted corn experiments with five soils from a mining area. The results showed increases of 20.3%–64.6% in CEC and 0.34–1.02 in pH (both p < 0.05) in the soil incubation after adding biochar. The DOC concentration was reduced by 8.2%–33.2% (p < 0.05). CPW-Cd, CDGT-Cd, and CBCR-Cd decreased by 14.2%–47.2%, 15.3%–47.9%, and 22.3%–61.4%, respectively. During the corn cultivation phase, CEC increased by 5.1%–29.0%, and DOC concentration decreased by 10.4%–41.3% (p < 0.05). CPW-Cd, CDGT-Cd, and CBCR-Cd decreased by 5.9%–22.4%, 7.2%–25.1%, and 10.5%–64.8%, respectively. Biochar effectively increased the biomass of corn roots and reduced the concentration of Cd in the roots. Biochar altered the properties of soil and pore water, reduced the bioavailability of Cd in soil, and mitigated the harm to corn caused by Cd.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41263007), and Guangxi Natural Science Foundation under Grant No. 2012GXNSFDA053023.

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Conceptualization: XW; Formal analysis: JS; Funding acquisition: WW; Investigation: JS, XW and ZL; Methodology: ZL; Visualization: HH; Writing-original draft: JS and XW; Writing-review & editing: WW and JS.

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Correspondence to Weisheng Wang.

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Su, J., Weng, X., Luo, Z. et al. Impact of Biochar on Soil Properties, Pore Water Properties, and Available Cadmium. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 107, 544–552 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00128-021-03259-8

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Keywords

  • Biochar
  • Pore water
  • Cd
  • Mine soil
  • Diffusive gradient in thin films
  • Soil property