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Fertilizer nitrogen uptake by rice increased by biochar application


This study was conducted to test the hypothesis that biochar application can increase rice yield through improving nitrogen (N) uptake and utilization by rice plants under N application conditions. A pot experiment was done with a hybrid rice cultivar grown on a Fe-leachi-Stagnic Anthrosols with and without biochar application. The N fertilizer used was 15N-labeled urea. Results showed that biochar application resulted in 23–27 % increase in fertilizer N uptake by rice plants and consequently 8–10 % increase in grain yield. The higher fertilizer N uptake under biochar application was associated with a reduced fertilizer N loss. Fertilizer N loss rate was reduced by 9–10 % by applying biochar. We suggest that further studies are needed to assess the short-term and long-term effects of different biochars on N uptake and utilization by rice under field conditions.

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This work was supported by the Earmarked Fund for Modern Agro-Industry Technology of China (CARS-01-34).

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Correspondence to Ligeng Jiang or Yingbin Zou.

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Liu Yang contributed equally with the first author to this work.

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Huang, M., Yang, L., Qin, H. et al. Fertilizer nitrogen uptake by rice increased by biochar application. Biol Fertil Soils 50, 997–1000 (2014).

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  • Biochar
  • N loss
  • N uptake
  • Rice