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Belowground biota responses to maize biochar addition to the soil of a Mediterranean vineyard
Andrés Pastor, Pilar (Centre de Recerca Ecològica i Aplicacions Forestals)
Rosell-Melé, Antoni (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals)
Colomer Ventura, Ferran (Centre de Recerca Ecològica i Aplicacions Forestals)
Denef, Karolien (Colorado State University. Chemistry Department)
Cotrufo, M. Francesca (Colorado State University. Soil and Crop Sciences Department)
Riba Rovira, Miquel (Centre de Recerca Ecològica i Aplicacions Forestals)
Alcañiz, Josep M. (Josep Maria) (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Departament de Biologia Animal, de Biologia Vegetal i d'Ecologia)

Date: 2019
Abstract: Biochar is a high carbon material resulting from biomass pyrolysis that, when applied to croplands, can increase soil carbon and soil water retention. Both effects are of critical importance in semi-arid regions, where carbon decline and desertification are the main drivers of soil degradation. Since most environmental services provided by soil are mediated by belowground biota, effects of biochar on soil microbial and invertebrate communities must be evaluated under field conditions before its agricultural application can be recommended. We tested maize biochar for its mid-term effect on soil microbes and micro-arthropods of a Mediterranean vineyard. We applied biochar to three field plots with neutral sandy loam soils at a dose of 5 Mg ha−1. During two years, we monitored the abundance of functional groups of soil micro-arthropods and estimated the biomass of soil microbial groups. We also analyzed the δ13C value of microbial PLFA biomarkers to determine biochar-C utilization by each microbial group taking advantage of the δ13C natural abundance differences between the applied biochar and the soil. Biochar addition significantly reduced soil microbial biomass but did not alter the functional microbial diversity nor the abundance or biodiversity of soil micro-arthropods. The contribution of biochar-C to the diet of most microbial groups was very low through the monitoring period. However, two gram-negative bacterial groups increased their biochar-derived carbon uptake under extreme soil dryness, which suggests that biochar-C might help soil microbes to overcome the food shortage caused by drought. The decrease in microbial biomass observed in our experiment and the concomitant decrease of SOM mineralization could contribute to the carbon sequestration potential of Mediterranean soils after biochar addition.
Note: Unidad de excelencia María de Maeztu MdM-2015-0552
Note: Número d'acord de subvenció MINECO/AGL2012-40037-C02-01
Note: Número d'acord de subvenció MINECO/MDM-2015-0552
Rights: Aquest document està subjecte a una llicència d'ús Creative Commons. Es permet la reproducció total o parcial i la comunicació pública de l'obra, sempre que no sigui amb finalitats comercials, i sempre que es reconegui l'autoria de l'obra original. No es permet la creació d'obres derivades. Creative Commons
Language: Anglès.
Document: article ; recerca ; acceptedVersion
Subject: Biochar ; Mediterranean soils ; Soil biota ; Soil microbial biomass ; Microbial biochar utilizatio ; Nplfa
Published in: Science of the total environment, Vol. 660 (April 2019) , p. 1522-1532, ISSN 0048-9697

DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.01.101


Available from: 2021-04-30
Postprint

The record appears in these collections:
Research literature > UAB research groups literature > Research Centres and Groups (scientific output) > Experimental sciences > CREAF (Centre de Recerca Ecològica i d'Aplicacions Forestals)
Research literature > UAB research groups literature > Research Centres and Groups (scientific output) > Experimental sciences > Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals (ICTA)
Articles > Research articles
Articles > Published articles

 Record created 2019-03-25, last modified 2019-04-22



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