Title: Storage and stability of biochar-derived carbon and total organic carbon in relation to minerals in an acid forest soil of the Spanish Atlantic area
Citation: SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT vol. 587-588 p. 204-213
Publication Year: 2017
JRC N°: JRC105896
ISSN: 0048-9697
URI: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969717303698
DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.02.121
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Biochar can largely contribute to enhance organic carbon (OC) stocks in soil and improve soil quality in forest and agricultural lands. Its contribution depends on its recalcitrance, but also on its interactions with minerals and other organic compounds in soil. Thus, it is important to study the link between minerals, natural organic matter and biochar in soil. In this study, we investigated the incorporation of biochar-derived carbon (biochar-C) into various particle-size fractions with contrasting mineralogy and the effect of biochar on the storage of total OC in the particle-size fractions in an acid loamy soil under Pinus radiata (C3 type) in the Spanish Atlantic area. We compared plots amended with biochar produced from Miscanthus sp. (C4 type) with control plots (not amended). We separated sand-, silt-, and clay-size fractions in samples collected from 0-20-cm depth. In each fraction, we analyzed clay minerals, metallic oxides and oxy-hydroxides, total OC and biochar-C. The results showed that 51% of the biochar-C was in fractions <20 µm one year after the application of biochar. Biochar-C stored in clay-size fractions (0.2-2 µm, 0.05-0.2 µm, <0.05 µm) was only 14%. Even so, we observed that biochar-C increased with decreasing particle-size in clay-size fractions, as it occurred with the vermiculitic phases and metallic oxides and oxy-hydroxides. Biochar also affected to the distribution of total OC among particle-size fractions. Total OC concentration was greater in fractions 2-20 µm, 0.2-2 µm, 0.05-0.2 µm in biochar-amended plots than in control plots. This may be explained by the adsorption of dissolved OC from fraction <0.05 µm onto biochar particles. The results suggested that interactions between biochar, minerals and pre-existing organic matter already occurred in the first year.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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