Effects of field scale in situ biochar incorporation on soil environment in a tropical highly weathered soil

Shih Hao Jien, Yu Lin Kuo, Chien Sen Liao, Yu Ting Wu, Avanthi Deshani Igalavithana, Daniel C.W. Tsang, Yong Sik Ok

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18 Citations (Scopus)


Biochar has been proven as a soil amendment to improve soil environment. However, mechanistic understanding of biochar on soil physical properties and microbial community remains unclear. In this study, a wood biochar (WB), was incorporated into a highly weathered tropical soil, and after 1 year the in situ changes in soil properties and microbial community were evaluated. A field trial was conducted for application of compost, wood biochar, and polyacrylamide. Microstructure and morphological features of the soils were characterized through 3D X-ray microscopy and polarized microscopy. Soil microbial communities were identified through next-generation sequencing (NGS). After incubation, the number of pores and connection throats between the pores of biochar treated soil increased by 3.8 and 7.2 times, respectively, compared to the control. According to NGS results, most sequences belonged to Anaerolinea thermolimosa, Caldithrix palaeochoryensis, Chthoniobacter flavus, and Cohnella soli. Canonical correlation analysis (CCA) further demonstrated that the microbial community structure was determined by inorganic N (IN), available P (AP), pH, soil organic C (SOC), porosity, bulk density (BD), and aggregate stability. The treatments with co-application of biochar and compost facilitated the dominance of Cal. palaeochoryensis, Cht. flavus, and Coh. soli, all of which promoted organic matter decomposition and ammonia oxidation in the soil. The apparent increases in IN, AP, porosity, and SOC caused by the addition of biochar and compost may be the proponents of changes in soil microbial communities. The co-application of compost and biochar may be a suitable strategy for real world biochar incorporation in highly weathered soil.

Original languageEnglish
Article number116009
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Mar 1


  • Black carbon
  • Degraded soil
  • Soil amendment
  • Soil erosion
  • Soil quality
  • Sustainable development goals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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