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Volume 72, Issue 9


Biochar and biochar with N-fertilizer affect soil N2O emission in Haplic Luvisol

Ján Horák
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Biometeorology and Hydrology, Horticulture and Landscape Engineering Faculty, Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra, Hospodárska 7, SK-94901 Nitra, Slovakia
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  • Other articles by this author:
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/ Elena Kondrlová
  • Department of Biometeorology and Hydrology, Horticulture and Landscape Engineering Faculty, Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra, Hospodárska 7, SK-94901 Nitra, Slovakia
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  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Dušan Igaz
  • Department of Biometeorology and Hydrology, Horticulture and Landscape Engineering Faculty, Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra, Hospodárska 7, SK-94901 Nitra, Slovakia
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  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Vladimír Šimanský
  • Department of Soil Science, Faculty of Agrobiology and Food Resources, Slovak University of Agriculture, Tr. A. Hlinku 2, SK-94976 Nitra, Slovakia
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/ Raphael Felber / Martin Lukac
  • School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, University of Reading, Reading RG66AR, UK
  • Department of Forest Management, Faculty of Forestry and Wood Sciences, Czech University of Life Sciences, CZ-16521 Prague, Czech Republic
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  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Eugene V. Balashov / Natalya P. Buchkina / Elena Y. Rizhiya / Michal Jankowski
  • Department of Soil Science and Landscape Management, Faculty of Earth Sciences, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Lwowska 1, PL-87-100 Toruń, Poland
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Published Online: 2017-09-30 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/biolog-2017-0109


The benefits of biochar application are well described in tropical soils, however there is a dearth of information on its effects in agricultural temperate soils. An interesting and little explored interaction may occur in an intensive agriculture setting; biochar addition may modify the effect of commonplace N-fertilization. We conducted a field experiment to study the effects of biochar application at the rate of 0, 10 and 20 t ha−1 (B0, B10 and B20) in combination with 0, 40 and 80 kg N ha−1 of N-fertilizer (N0, N40, N80). We followed nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions, analysed a series of soil physicochemical properties and measured barley yield in a Haplic Luvisol in Central Europe. Seasonal cumulative N2O emissions from B10N0 and B20N0 treatments decreased by 27 and 25% respectively, when compared to B0N0. Cumulative N2O emissions from N40 and N80 combined with B10 and B20 were also lower by 21, 19 and 25, 32%, respectively compared to controls B0N40 and B0N80. Average pH was significantly increased by biochar addition. Increased soil pH and reduces NO3 content seen in biochar treatments could be the two possible mechanisms responsible for reduced N2O emissions. There was a statistically significant increase of soil water content in B20N0 treatment compared to B0N0 control, possibly as a result of larger surface area and the presence of microspores having altered pore size distribution and water-holding capacity of the soil. Application of biochar at the rate of 10 t ha−1 had a positive effect on spring barley grain yield.

Key words: biochar; nitrogen fertilization; soil properties; N2O emission; yield


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About the article

Received: 2016-12-12

Accepted: 2017-03-21

Published Online: 2017-09-30

Published in Print: 2017-09-26

Citation Information: Biologia, Volume 72, Issue 9, Pages 995–1001, ISSN (Online) 1336-9563, ISSN (Print) 0006-3088, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/biolog-2017-0109.

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