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Title: Long-term influence of biochar on native organic carbon mineralisation in a low-carbon clayey soil
Contributor(s): Singh, Bhupinder Pal  (author); Cowie, Annette  (author)
Publication Date: 2014
Open Access: Yes
DOI: 10.1038/srep03687Open Access Link
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Abstract: Biochar can influence native soil organic carbon (SOC) mineralisation through "priming effects". However, the long-term direction, persistence and extent of SOC priming by biochar remain uncertain. Using natural ¹³C abundance and under controlled laboratory conditions, we show that biochar-stimulated SOC mineralisation ("positive priming") caused a loss of 4 to 44 mg C g⁻¹ SOC over 2.3 years in a clayey, unplanted soil (0.42% OC). Positive priming was greater for manure-based or 400°C biochars, cf. plant-based or 550°C biochars, but was trivial relative to recalcitrant C in biochar. From 2.3 to 5.0 years, the amount of positively-primed soil CO₂-C in the biochar treatments decreased by 4 to 7 mg C g⁻¹ SOC. We conclude that biochar stimulates native SOC mineralisation in the low-C clayey soil but that this effect decreases with time, possibly due to depletion of labile SOC from initial positive priming, and/or stabilisation of SOC caused by biochar-induced organo-mineral interactions.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Scientific Reports, v.4, p. 1-9
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
ISSN: 2045-2322
Field of Research (FOR): 050301 Carbon Sequestration Science
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 961499 Soils not elsewhere classified
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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