Effects of Charcoal as Slow Release Nutrient Carrier on N-P-K Dynamics and Soil Microbial Population: Pot Experiments with Ferralsol Substrate

Giardina et al. (2000) reported that 300 million people annually practice shifting agriculture, affecting 400 million hectares of the planet's 1,500 million ha of arable land. The sustainability of shifting cultivation and slash-and-burn continues to be a topic of discussion. Kleinman et al. (1995) characterized sound slash-and-burn agriculture as an ecologically sustainable agroecosystem because crop yields can be maintained without inputs of non-renewable fossil energy resources for fertilizers, pesticides, and irrigation. According to Woods and McCann (1999) shifting cultivation can be an environmentally friendly analogue to the natural processes of disturbance and regenerative succession in tropical forests. They suggest that the Amerindian population made long lasting improvements to notoriously infertile tropical soils by long-term mulching, frequent burning, and the application of charcoal and ash which increased soil pH and thereby suppressed Al activity favourable for specific microorganisms responsible for the darkening of these soils, called terra preta de índio. The theory that a correlation between shortened fallow periods and yield decline in shifting cultivation exists is questioned by (Mertz 2002), but in general most authors describe recent shifting cultivation above a certain population density or frequency of clearance (shortened fallow periods) as disastrous and leading to soil nutrient and soil organic matter (SOM) depletion (Goldammer 1993; Hölscher et al. 1997b; Silva-Forsberg and Fearnside 1997; Zech et al. 1990). The effectiveness of conventional fertilization on highly weathered and acidic Oxisols in the Amazon Basin is limited by high rainfall, low nutrient retention, and rapid water flow. Easily available and mobile nutrients, such as those supplied by mineral N or K fertilizers are rapidly leached into the subsoil (Giardina et al. 2000; Hölscher et al. 1997a; Renck and Lehmann 2004).

P is usually considered the primary limiting nutrient in plant production on highly weathered soils of the humid tropics because it is strongly bound to aluminium and iron oxides and, thus, not easily available for plants (Garcia-Montiel et al. 2000). Heterophobic phosphate solubilizing microorganisms make mineral bound P available by the excretion of chelating organic acids. (Kimura and Nishio 1989) showed that insoluble phosphates which are not crystallized can be solubi-lized by indigenous microorganisms when abundant carbon sources are supplied.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Anderson JPE (1982) Soil Respiration. In: ASA-SSSA, Methods of Soil Analysis, Part 2. Chemical and Microbiological Properties-Agronomy Monograph no. 9. ASA-SSSA, Madison, WI, pp 831–871Google Scholar
  2. Anderson JPE and Domsch KH (1978) A physiological method for the quantitative measurement of microbial biomass in soils. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 10: 215–221CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Antal MJ and Grønli M (2003) The art, science, and technology of charcoal production. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research 42: 1619–1640CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Baath E and Anderson TH (2003) Comparison of soil fungal/bacterial ratios in a pH gradient using physiological and PLFA-based techniques. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 35: 955–963CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Beck T and Bengel A (1992) Die mikrobielle Biomasse in Böden, Teil II. SuB HeftGoogle Scholar
  6. Bengtsson G, Bengtson P and Månsson KF (2003) Gross nitrogen mineralization-, immobilization-, and nitrification rates as a function of soil C/N ratio and microbial activity. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 35: 143–154CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Braida WJ, Pignatello JJ, Lu YF, Ravikovitch PI, Neimark AV and Xing BS (2003) Sorption hysteresis of benzene in charcoal particles. Environmental Science & Technology 37: 409–417CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Burger M and Jackson LE (2003) Microbial immobilization of ammonium and nitrate in relation to ammonification and nitrification rates in organic and conventional cropping systems. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 35: 29–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Correia FWS and Lieberei R (1998) Agroclimatological information about the experimental field of the SHIFT-area, ENV 23, 42, 45, 52. In: Third SHIFT Workshop, Manaus, pp 389–396Google Scholar
  10. Day D, Evans RJ, Lee JW and Reicosky D (2005) Economical CO2, SOx and NOx capture from fossil-fuel utilization with combined renewable hydrogen production and large-scale carbon sequestration. Energy 30: 2558–2579CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. FAO (1990) Soil map of the world, revised legend. FAO, Rome, ItalyGoogle Scholar
  12. Förster B and Farias M (2000) Microbial respiration and biomass. In: Höfer H, Martius C, Hanagarth W, Garcia M, Franklin E, Römbke J and Beck L (eds) Soil fauna and litter decomposition in primary and secondary forests and a mixed culture system in Amazonia. Final report of project SHIFT ENV 52, (BMBF No. 0339675). Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, pp 59–64Google Scholar
  13. Fujita I, Tomooka J and Sugimura T (1991) Sorption of anionic surfactants with wood charcoal. Bulletin Chemical Society of Japan 64: 738–740CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Garcia-Montiel DC, Neill C, Melillo J, Thomas S, Steudler PA and Cerri CC (2000) Soil phosphorus transformations following forest clearing for pasture in the Brazilian Amazon. Soil Science Society of America Journal 64: 1792–1804Google Scholar
  15. Giardina CP, Sanford RL, Dockersmith IC and Jaramillo VJ (2000) The effects of slash burning on ecosystem nutrients during the land preparation phase of shifting cultivation. Plant and Soil 220: 247–260CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Glaser B, Lehmann J, Steiner C, Nehls T, Yousaf M and Zech W (2002a) Potential of pyrolyzed organic matter in soil amelioration. In: International Soil Conservation Organization Conference, BeijingGoogle Scholar
  17. Glaser B, Lehmann J and Zech W (2002b) Ameliorating physical and chemical properties of highly weathered soils in the tropics with charcoal — a review. Biology and Fertility of Soils 35: 219–230CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Goldammer JG (1993) Historical biogeography of fire: Tropical and subtropical. In: Crutzen PJ and Goldammer JG (eds) Fire in the Environment: The Ecological Atmospheric, and Climatic Importance of Vegetation Fires. Wiley, New York, pp 297–314Google Scholar
  19. Hecht SB (2003) Indigenous soil management and the creation of Amazonian Dark Earths: Implications of Kayapó practices. In: Lehmann J, Kern D, Glaser B and Woods W (eds) Amazonian Dark Earth: Origin, Properties, Management. Kluwer, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, pp 355–372Google Scholar
  20. Hendershot WH and Lalande H (1993) Soil reaction and exchangeable acidity. In: Carter MR (ed) Soil Sampling and Methods of Analysis. Toronto, Lewis Publishers, Canadian Society of Soil Science, pp 141–145Google Scholar
  21. Hölscher D, Ludwig B, Möller RF and Fölster H (1997a) Dynamic of soil chemical parameters in shifting agriculture in the Eastern Amazon. Agriculture Ecosystems & Environment 66: 153–163CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hölscher D, Möller RF, Denich M and Fölster H (1997b) Nutrient input-output budget of shifting agriculture in Eastern Amazonia. Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems 47: 49–57CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Ilstedt U, Giesler R, Nordgren A and Malmer A (2003) Changes in soil chemical and microbial properties after a wildfire in a tropical rainforest in Sabah, Malaysia. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 35: 1071–1078CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kern DC, Costa MLd and Frazão FJL (2003) Evolution of the scientific knowledge regarding archaeological black earths of Amazonia. In: Lehmann J, Kern D, Glaser B and Woods W (eds) Amazonian Dark Earth: Origin, Properties, Management. Kluwer, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, pp 19–28Google Scholar
  25. Kimura R and Nishio M (1989) Contribution of soil microorganisms to utilization of insoluble soil phosphorus by plants in grasslands. In: Third Grassland Ecology Conference, Czechoslovakia, pp 10–17Google Scholar
  26. Kleinman PJA, Pimentel D and Bryant RB (1995) The ecological sustainability of slash-and-burn agriculture. Agriculture Ecosystems & Environment 52: 235–249CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Kononova MM (1966) Soil organic matter — Its nature, its role in soil formation and soil fertility. Pergamon Press, Oxford, p 544Google Scholar
  28. Lehmann J, da Silva Jr JP, Rondon M, Cravo MdS, Greenwood J, Nehls T, Steiner C and Glaser B (2002) Slash and char — a feasible alternative for soil fertility management in the central Amazon? In: 17th World Congress of Soil Science, Bangkok, Thailand, pp 1–12Google Scholar
  29. Lehmann J, da Silva Jr. JP, Steiner C, Nehls T, Zech W and Glaser B (2003) Nutrient availability and leaching in an archaeological Anthrosol and a Ferralsol of the Central Amazon basin: fertilizer, manure and charcoal amendments. Plant and Soil 249: 343–357CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Mehlich A (1984) Mehlich-3 Soil test extractant: a modification of Mehlich-2 extractant. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis 15: 1409–1416CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Mertz O (2002) The relationship between length of fallow and crop yields in shifting cultivation: a rethinking. Agroforestry Systems 55: 149–159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Ogawa M (1994) Symbiosis of people and nature in the tropics. Farming Japan 28–5: 10–30Google Scholar
  33. Olsen SR and Sommers LE (1982) Phosphorus. In: Page AL, Miller RH and Keeney DR (eds) Methods of Soil Analyses: Part 2 Chemical and Microbiological Properties. American Society of Agronomy, Wisconsin, pp 403–430Google Scholar
  34. Pietikainen J, Kiikkila O and Fritze H (2000) Charcoal as a habitat for microbes and its effect on the microbial community of the underlying humus. Oikos 89: 231–242CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Radlein D, Piskorz JK and Majerski P (1996) Method for producing slow-release nitrogenous organic fertilizer from biomass. European patent application 0716056 A1Google Scholar
  36. Renck A and Lehmann J (2004) Rapid water flow and transport of inorganic and organic nitrogen in a highly aggregated tropical soil. Soil Science 169: 330–341CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Saito M and Marumoto T (2002) Inoculation with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi: the status quo in Japan and the future prospects. Plant and Soil 244: 273–279CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Schmidt MWI and Noack AG (2000) Black carbon in soils and sediments: Analysis, distribution, implications, and current challenges. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 14: 777–793CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Silva-Forsberg MC and Fearnside PM (1997) Brazilian Amazonian caboclo agriculture: effect of fallow period on maize yield. Forest Ecology and Management 97: 283–291CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Steiner C, Teixeira WG, Lehmann J and Zech W (2004a) Microbial response to charcoal amendments of highly weathered soils and Amazonian Dark Earths in central Amazonia — Preliminary results. In: Woods WI (eds) Amazonian Dark Earths: Explorations in Space and Time. Springer, Heidelberg, pp 195–212Google Scholar
  41. Steiner C, Teixeira WG and Zech W (2004b) Slash and char: An alternative to slash and burn practiced in the Amazon Basin. In: Glaser B and Woods WI (eds) Amazonian Dark Earths: Explorations in Space and Time. Springer, Heidelberg, pp 183–193Google Scholar
  42. Stenström J, Stenberg B and Johanson M (1998) Kinetics of substrate-induced respiration (SIR): Theory of Ambio 27: 35–39Google Scholar
  43. Tiessen H and Shang C (1998) Organic-matter turnover in tropical land-use systems. In: Bergström L and Kirchmann H (eds) Carbon and Nutrient Dynamics in Natural and Agricultural Tropical Ecosystems. CAB International, Wallingford/New York, pp 1–14Google Scholar
  44. Walinga I, Lee JJvd, Houba VJG, Vark Wv, and Novozamsky I (eds) (1995). Plant Analysis Manual. Kluwer, Dordrecht, The NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
  45. Woods WI and McCann JM (1999) The anthropogenic origin and persistence of Amazonian Dark Earths. In: Caviedes C (ed) Yearbook 1999 — Conference of Latin Americanist Geographers 25. Austin: University of Texas Press, pp 7–14Google Scholar
  46. Zech W, Haumaier L and Hempfling R (1990) Ecological aspects of soil organic matter in the tropical land use. In: McCarthy P, Clapp CE, Malcolm RL and Bloom PR (eds) Humic Substances in Soil and Crop Sciences; Selected Readings. American Society of Agronomy and Soil Science Society of America, Madison, WI, pp 187–202Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biorefining and Carbon Cycling Program, Department of Biological and Agricultural EngineeringUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA
  2. 2.Embrapa Amazônia OcidentalManausBrazil
  3. 3.Institute of Soil Science and Soil GeographyUniversity of BayreuthBayreuthGermany

Personalised recommendations