Pedosphere 29(1): 82--94, 2019
ISSN 1002-0160/CN 32-1315/P
©2019 Soil Science Society of China
Published by Elsevier B.V. and Science Press
Biochar Combined with Vermicompost Increases Crop Production While Reducing Ammonia and Nitrous Oxide Emissions from a Paddy Soil
WU Di1,2, FENG Yanfang1, XUE Lihong1, LIU Manqiang3, YANG Bei1, HU Feng3, YANG Linzhang1,2
1Institute of Agricultural Resources and Environment, Jiangsu Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Nanjing 210014(China)
2State Key Laboratory of Soil and Sustainable Agriculture, Institute of Soil Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008(China)
3Soil Ecology Lab, College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095(China)
ABSTRACT
      Organic amendments such as vermicompost and biochar have been reported to enhance soil fertility and crop productivity. However, whether the co-application of both amendments has synergistic effects or whether such benefits are accompanied by the risk of gaseous nitrogen (N) loss in an agroecosystem remains unknown. A soil column experiment with a fully factorial design was conducted using three levels of vermicompost (no dose, low dose (1%, weight:weight), and high dose (3%, weight:weight)) without or with biochar (1%, weight:weight) to investigate their effects on rice growth and gaseous N loss across the crop growing season. Our results demonstrated that synergistic interactions existed between vermicompost and biochar in promoting crop yield. Compared with biochar amendment alone, biochar combined with vermicompost significantly (P<0.01) increased rice yield by 26.5%-35.3%. However, high dose of vermicompost significantly (P<0.01) increased the cumulative ammonia (NH3) and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions. In the presence of vermicompost, the incorporation of biochar amendment significantly (P<0.01) decreased the cumulative N2O emission by 14.1%-18.6%. The lowest emission factor value of NH3 and N2O was achieved using biochar in combination with low dose of vermicompost. This study revealed that the combination of biochar and moderate dose of vermicompost offers a novel approach to promote crop productivity while reducing the environmental risk.
Key Words:  ammonia volatilization,crop yield,earthworm,ecosystem services,emission factor,gaseous nitrogen loss,organic amendment,organic waste
Citation: Wu D, Feng Y F, Xue L H, Liu M Q, Yang B, Hu F, Yang L Z. 2019. Biochar combined with vermicompost increases crop production while reducing ammonia and nitrous oxide emissions from a paddy soil. Pedosphere. 29(1):82-94.
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