Biochar in perennial crops: nutritional, agronomical and environmental implications

Sorrenti, Giovambattista (2015) Biochar in perennial crops: nutritional, agronomical and environmental implications, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze e tecnologie agrarie, ambientali e alimentari, 27 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/7129.
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Biochar is the solid C-rich matrix obtained by pyrolysis of biomasses, currently promoted as a soil amendment with the aim to offset anthropogenic C emissions, while ameliorating soil properties and growth conditions. Benefits from biochar seem promising, although scientific understandings are beginning to be explored. In this project, I performed a suite of experiments in controlled and in field conditions with the aims to investigate the effect of biochar on: a) the interaction with minerals; b) Fe nutrition in kiwifruit; c) soil leaching, soil fertility, soil CO2 emissions partitioning, soil bacterial profile and key gene expression of soil nitrification-involved bacteria; d) plant growth, nutritional status, yield, fruit quality and e) its physical-chemical changes as affected by long-term environmental exposure. Biochar released K, P and Mg but retained Fe, Mn, Cu and Zn on its surface which in turn hindered Fe nutrition of kiwifruit trees. A redox reaction on the biochar surface exposed to a Fe source was elucidated. Biochar reduced the amount of leached NH4+-N but increased that of Hg, K, P, Mo, Se and Sn. Furthermore, biochar synergistically interacted with compost increasing soil field capacity, fertility, leaching of DOC, TDN and RSOC, suggesting a priming effect. However, in field conditions, biochar did not affect yield, nutritional status and fruit quality. Actinomadura flavalba, Saccharomonospora viridis, Thermosporomyces composti and Enterobacter spp. were peculiar of the soil amended with biochar plus compost which exhibited the highest band richness and promoted gene expression levels of Nitrosomonas spp., Nitrobacter spp. and enzymatic-related activity. Environmental exposure reduced C, K, pH and water infiltration of biochar which instead resulted in a higher O, Si, N, Na, Al, Ca, Mn and Fe at%. Oxidation occurred on the aged biochar surface, it decreased progressively with depth and induced the development of O-containing functional groups, up to 75nm depth.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Sorrenti, Giovambattista
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze agrarie
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
biochar, compost, mineral nutrition, soil respiration, soil leaching, DOC, TDN, ageing, Nitrobacter, Nitrosomonas, Fe-chlorosis, lysimeter, XPS, skeletal density, envelope density, porosity, plant growth
Data di discussione
18 Maggio 2015

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