Biochar built soil carbon over a decade by stabilizing rhizodeposits

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Weng, Zhe; van Zwieten, Lukas; Singh, Bhupinder Pal; Joseph, Stephen; Macdonald, Lynne; Tavakkoli, Ehsan; Rose, T; Kimber, Stephen; Morris, Stephen; Araujo, Joyce; Cowie, Annette

Weng, Zhe; van Zwieten, Lukas; Singh, Bhupinder Pal; Joseph, Stephen; Macdonald, Lynne; Tavakkoli, Ehsan; Rose, T; Kimber, Stephen; Morris, Stephen; Araujo, Joyce; Cowie, Annette


2017-04-24


Journal Article


Nature Climate Change


7


5


May 2017


371-376


While biochar has been widely promoted for its potential to enhance soil organic carbon (SOC), short-term studies have shown that biochar can both stimulate (positive priming) or lower (negative priming) mineralisation of SOC. Understanding plant-soil-biochar interactions over the long-term is crucial to accurately predict the carbon (C) storage potential of biochar additional to its own inherent recalcitrant C content. We performed periodic 13CO2 pulse-labelling of ryegrass in the field, and monitored belowground C allocation, SOC priming, and root-derived C stabilisation between 8.2 and 9.5 years in a nearly decade-aged biochar (hardwood, 550°C) -amended Ferralsol. We provide evidence that field-aged biochar (a) enhanced belowground C recovery by 20%, (b) promoted negative priming (lowered C loss through respiration by 160 g CO2-C m-2 y-1) and (c) increased the retention of root-derived 13C in the stable organo-mineral fractions (<53 μm) by 6% (P< 0.05). Through synchrotron-based spectroscopic analysis of bulk soil, field-aged biochar and microaggregates (<250 μm), we mechanistically demonstrate the role of biochar in accelerating formation of micro-agglomerates via organo-mineral interactions.


Nature Publishing Group


Carbon Sequestration Science


https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate3276


Link to Publisher's Version


Funding Body NameProject/Grant ID
Australia. Department of Agriculture


EP161493


Journal article - Refereed


English


Weng, Zhe; van Zwieten, Lukas; Singh, Bhupinder Pal; Joseph, Stephen; Macdonald, Lynne; Tavakkoli, Ehsan; Rose, T; Kimber, Stephen; Morris, Stephen; Araujo, Joyce; Cowie, Annette. Biochar built soil carbon over a decade by stabilizing rhizodeposits. Nature Climate Change. 2017; 7(5 May 2017):371-376. https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate3276



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