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Biochar amendment to soils with contrasting organic matter level: effects on N mineralization and biological soil properties

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Abstract
Four biochar types, produced by slow pyrolysis of poultry litter (PL) and pine chips (P) at 400 or 500°C, were added to two adjacent soils with contrasting soil organic matter (SOM) content (8.9 vs. 16.1 g C kg-1). The N mineralization rate was determined during 14-weeks incubations and assessments were made of the microbial biomass C, dehydrogenase activity and the microbial community structure (PLFA-extraction). The addition of PL biochars increased the net N mineralization (i.e. compared to the control treatment) in both soils while for treatments with P biochars net N immobilization was observed in both soils. Increasing the pyrolysis temperature of both feedstock types led to a decrease in net N mineralization. The ratio of Bacterial to Fungal PLFA biomarkers also increased with addition of biochars, and particularly in the case of the 500°C biochars. Next to feedstock type and pyrolysis temperature, SOM content clearly affected the assessed soil biological parameters, viz. net N mineralization or immobilization, MBC and dehydrogenase activity were all greater in the H soil. This might be explained by an increased chance of physical contact between the microbial community activated by SOM mineralization upon incubation and discrete biochar particles. However, when considering the H soil’s double C and N content, these responses were disproportionally small, which may be partly due to the L soil’s, somewhat more labile SOM. Nonetheless increasing SOM content and microbial biomass and activity generally appears to result in greater mineralization of biochar. Additionally, higher N mineralization after PL addition to the H soil with lower pH than the L soil can be due to the liming effect of the PL biochars.
Keywords
PLFA, bacteria to fungi ratio, fumigation-extraction, microbial community structure, Biochar, N mineralization, N dynamics, pyrogenic organic matter, SOM quality, physicochemical fractionation, soil enzyme activity, black carbon, MICROBIAL BIOMASS, NITROGEN MINERALIZATION, FUMIGATION-EXTRACTION, MANAGEMENT-SYSTEMS, DAIRY MANURE, FOREST SOILS, CARBON, AVAILABILITY, COMMUNITIES, PYROLYSIS

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MLA
Ameloot, Nele, Steven Sleutel, KC Das, et al. “Biochar Amendment to Soils with Contrasting Organic Matter Level: Effects on N Mineralization and Biological Soil Properties.” GLOBAL CHANGE BIOLOGY BIOENERGY 7.1 (2015): 135–144. Print.
APA
Ameloot, Nele, Sleutel, S., Das, K., Jegajeevagan, K., & De Neve, S. (2015). Biochar amendment to soils with contrasting organic matter level: effects on N mineralization and biological soil properties. GLOBAL CHANGE BIOLOGY BIOENERGY, 7(1), 135–144.
Chicago author-date
Ameloot, Nele, Steven Sleutel, KC Das, Kanagaratnam Jegajeevagan, and Stefaan De Neve. 2015. “Biochar Amendment to Soils with Contrasting Organic Matter Level: Effects on N Mineralization and Biological Soil Properties.” Global Change Biology Bioenergy 7 (1): 135–144.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Ameloot, Nele, Steven Sleutel, KC Das, Kanagaratnam Jegajeevagan, and Stefaan De Neve. 2015. “Biochar Amendment to Soils with Contrasting Organic Matter Level: Effects on N Mineralization and Biological Soil Properties.” Global Change Biology Bioenergy 7 (1): 135–144.
Vancouver
1.
Ameloot N, Sleutel S, Das K, Jegajeevagan K, De Neve S. Biochar amendment to soils with contrasting organic matter level: effects on N mineralization and biological soil properties. GLOBAL CHANGE BIOLOGY BIOENERGY. 2015;7(1):135–44.
IEEE
[1]
N. Ameloot, S. Sleutel, K. Das, K. Jegajeevagan, and S. De Neve, “Biochar amendment to soils with contrasting organic matter level: effects on N mineralization and biological soil properties,” GLOBAL CHANGE BIOLOGY BIOENERGY, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 135–144, 2015.
@article{4134796,
  abstract     = {{Four biochar types, produced by slow pyrolysis of poultry litter (PL) and pine chips (P) at 400 or 500°C, were added to two adjacent soils with contrasting soil organic matter (SOM) content (8.9 vs. 16.1 g C kg-1). The N mineralization rate was determined during 14-weeks incubations and assessments were made of the microbial biomass C, dehydrogenase activity and the microbial community structure (PLFA-extraction). The addition of PL biochars increased the net N mineralization (i.e. compared to the control treatment) in both soils while for  treatments with P biochars net N immobilization was observed in both soils. Increasing the pyrolysis temperature of both feedstock types led to a decrease in net N mineralization. The ratio of Bacterial to Fungal PLFA biomarkers also increased with addition of biochars, and particularly in the case of the 500°C biochars. Next to feedstock type and pyrolysis temperature, SOM content clearly affected the assessed soil biological parameters, viz. net N mineralization or immobilization, MBC and dehydrogenase activity were all greater in the H soil. This might be explained by an increased chance of physical contact between the microbial community activated by SOM mineralization upon incubation and discrete biochar particles. However, when considering the H soil’s double C and N content, these responses were disproportionally small, which may be partly due to the L soil’s, somewhat more labile SOM. Nonetheless increasing SOM content and microbial biomass and activity generally appears to result in greater mineralization of biochar. Additionally, higher N mineralization after PL addition to the H soil with lower pH than the L soil can be due to the liming effect of the PL biochars.}},
  author       = {{Ameloot, Nele and Sleutel, Steven and Das, KC and Jegajeevagan, Kanagaratnam and De Neve, Stefaan}},
  issn         = {{1757-1693}},
  journal      = {{GLOBAL CHANGE BIOLOGY BIOENERGY}},
  keywords     = {{PLFA,bacteria to fungi ratio,fumigation-extraction,microbial community structure,Biochar,N mineralization,N dynamics,pyrogenic organic matter,SOM quality,physicochemical fractionation,soil enzyme activity,black carbon,MICROBIAL BIOMASS,NITROGEN MINERALIZATION,FUMIGATION-EXTRACTION,MANAGEMENT-SYSTEMS,DAIRY MANURE,FOREST SOILS,CARBON,AVAILABILITY,COMMUNITIES,PYROLYSIS}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  number       = {{1}},
  pages        = {{135--144}},
  title        = {{Biochar amendment to soils with contrasting organic matter level: effects on N mineralization and biological soil properties}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/gcbb.12119}},
  volume       = {{7}},
  year         = {{2015}},
}

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