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Labile and stable pools of organic matter in soil amended with sewage sludge biochar

Figueiredo, Cícero Célio de, Farias, Walda Monteiro, Melo, Bruno Araújo de, Chagas, Jhon Kenedy Moura, Vale, Ailton Teixeira, Coser, Thais Rodrigues
Archiv für Acker- und Pflanzenbau und Bodenkunde 2019 v.65 no.6 pp. 770-781
biochar, carbon, microbial biomass, mineral fertilizers, nutrients, pyrolysis, sewage sludge, soil, soil amendments, soil organic matter, temperature
One of the main advantages of using biochar for agricultural purposes is its ability to store carbon (C) in soil for a long-term. Studies of labile and stable fractions of soil organic matter (SOM) may be a good indicator of the dynamics of biochar in soils. This study evaluated the effects of applying sewage sludge biochar (SSB) in combination with mineral fertilizer on fractions of SOM. To conduct this evaluation, 15 Mg ha⁻¹ of SSB combined or not with mineral fertilizer (NPK) was applied to the soil in two cropping seasons. Apart from total organic C (TOC), the labile and stable fractions of SOM were also determined. The combined use of SSB and NPK resulted in higher TOC, a 22% to 40% increase compared to the control and to the NPK treatments, respectively. The SSB produced at a lower temperature increased the labile fractions of SOM, especially the microbial biomass C, showing its capacity to supply nutrients in the short-term. The stable pools of SOM are increased after adding SSB produced at a higher temperature. It was concluded that pyrolysis temperature is a key-factor that determines the potential of SSB to accumulate C in labile and stable fractions of SOM.