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Effect of wheat and Miscanthus straw biochars on soil enzymatic activity, ecotoxicity, and plant yield

Mierzwa-Hersztek, Monika, Gondek, Krzysztof, Klimkowicz-Pawlas, Agnieszka, Baran, Agnieszka
International agrophysics 2017 v.31 no.3 pp. 367-375
Miscanthus giganteus, Trifolium pratense, Vibrio fischeri, biochar, biomass production, crop yield, ecotoxicology, enzyme activity, fertilizer application, grasses, loamy sand soils, mineral fertilizers, perennials, phytomass, raw materials, soil properties, soil treatment, toxicity, wheat, wheat straw
The variety of technological conditions and raw materials from which biochar is produced is the reason why its soil application may have different effects on soil properties and plant growth. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of the addition of wheat straw and Miscanthus giganteus straw (5 t DM ha⁻¹) and biochar obtained from this materials in doses of 2.25 and 5 t DM ha⁻¹ on soil enzymatic activity, soil ecotoxicity, and plant yield (perennial grass mixture with red clover). The research was carried out under field conditions on soil with the granulometric composition of loamy sand. No significant effect of biochar amendment on soil enzymatic activity was observed. The biochar-amended soil was toxic to Vibrio fischeri and exhibited low toxicity to Heterocypris incongruens. Application of wheat straw biochar and M. giganteus straw biochar in a dose of 5 t DM ha⁻¹ contributed to an increase in plant biomass production by 2 and 14%, respectively, compared to the soil with mineral fertilisation. Biochars had a more adverse effect on soil enzymatic activity and soil ecotoxicity to H. incongruens and V. fischeri than non-converted wheat straw and M. giganteus straw, but significantly increased the grass crop yield.