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Biochar can improve the soil quality of new creation farmland on the Loess Plateau

Su, Cui-Cui, Ma, Ji-Fu, Chen, Yi-Ping
Environmental science and pollution research international 2019 v.26 no.3 pp. 2662-2670
agricultural land, agricultural soils, biochar, particle size, population growth, soil pH, soil productivity, soil quality, soil salinization, soil water content, China
The Loess Plateau is the most severely degraded soil area worldwide and represents one of the lowest areas of soil productivity. To solve the conundrum between increasing populations and decreasing agricultural acreage, enhancing the quantity of cultivated land, gully land consolidation projects has been implemented. However, the new creation farmland soil is not enough to satisfy the demand of agricultural production. An incubation experiment was conducted to determine the effects of biochar on the new creation farmland soil. Five levels of amendments (0, 1%, 2%, 5%, and 10% (wt%) biochar soil) were used, and the soil columns remained in the laboratory for approximately 2 months. The results show that biochar proportion was a more important factor than incubation time across all soils tested. The soil moisture content and particle size clearly increased as the amendment level increased; however, the soil pH decreased gradually with incubation time and tended to slow soil salinization. These findings will have to be verified under field conditions.