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CARBONLETT, vol. 26, no. 1, pp.66-73, 2018

DOI: DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5714/CL.2018.26.066

Effect of bio-char application combined with straw residue mulching on soil soluble nutrient loss in sloping arable land

Chiming Gu1,2, Fang Chen2,3,♠, Ibrahim Mohamed2,5, Margot Brooks4, and Zhiguo Li2,♠

Affiliation: 1Oil Crops Research Institute of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Key Laboratory of Biology and Genetics Improvement of Oil Crops, Ministry of Agriculture, Wuhan 430062, China
2Key Laboratory of Aquatic Botany and Watershed Ecology, Wuhan Botanical Garden, Chinese Academic of Sciences, Moshan, Wuhan, Hubei 430074, China
3China Program, International Plant Nutrition Institute, Wuhan 430074, China
4Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, Rhodes University, Grahamstown 6140, South Africa
5Soil Science Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Banha University, Moshtohor, Toukh, Kalyoubia, Banha 13736, Egypt

Abstract: We assessed the effects of combining bio-char with straw residue mulching on the loss of soil soluble nutrients and citrus yield in sloping land. The two-year study showed that straw residue mulching (ST) and bio-char application combined with straw residue (ST+BC) can significantly reduce soil soluble nutrient loss when compared with the control treatment (CK). The comparative volume of the soil surface runoff after each of the treatments was as follows: CK > ST > ST + BC. Compared with the CK, the runoff volume of the ST was reduced by 13.6 % and 8.5 % in 2014 and 2015, respectively. Compared with the CK, combining bio-char with the ST application reduced the loss of soluble nitrogen and improved the soil total nitrogen content reaching a significant level in 2015. It dramatically increased the soil organic matter content over the two year period (36.3% in 2014, 50.6% in 2015) as well as the carbon/nitrogen ratio (C/N) (16.6% in 2014 and 39.3% in 2015). Straw mulching combined with bio-char showed a trend for increasing the citrus yield.

Keyword: Bio-char; Soluble nutrient loss; Sloping land; Soil surface mulching