Pedosphere 32(3): 426--437, 2022
ISSN 1002-0160/CN 32-1315/P
©2022 Soil Science Society of China
Published by Elsevier B.V. and Science Press
Short-term biochar effect on soil physicochemical and microbiological properties of a degraded alpine grassland
Jinsheng LI1, Xinqing SHAO1, Ding HUANG1, Kesi LIU1,2, Jianying SHANG3, Qian ZHANG1, Tianci ZHAO1, Xiaomeng YANG1
1College of Grassland Science and Technology, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193(China)
2National Field Station of Grassland Ecosystem at Guyuan, Hebei 076550(China)
3Department of Water and soil Science, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193(China)
ABSTRACT
      Soil remediation is an important part of the restoration process of degraded terrestrial ecosystems. Due to its unique properties, biochar is being used widely as an effective soil modifier in agricultural systems, but research is still rare on biochar application in grassland ecosystems, especially in degraded alpine grasslands. In this study, we conducted a plot experiment to investigate the effect of biochar application on soil physicochemical properties and microorganisms at the 0–20 cm soil depth of a degraded alpine grassland in Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, China. The experiment consisted of four corn straw biochar application levels (0%, 0.5%, 1% and 2%, with the percentage representing the ratio of biochar weight to the dry weight of soil in the surface 20 cm soil layer). When the biochar addition increased from 0% to 2%, total nitrogen, total organic carbon and available phosphorus in the 0–10 cm soil layer increased by 41%, 55% and 45%, respectively, in the second year after biochar addition. Meanwhile, soil electrical conductivity decreased, and soil water content increased. Total microbial, fungal and bacterial biomasses in the 0–10 cm soil layer increased from 9.15 to 12.68, 0.91 to 1.34, and 3.85 to 4.55 μg g-1, respectively. The relative biomasses of saprophytic fungi and methanotrophic bacteria decreased, while the relative biomasses of ectomycorrhizal fungi and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi increased. These results indicate that biochar has a great potential in improving microbial activity and soil fertility in soil remediation of the degraded alpine grassland.
Key Words:  bacteria,fungi,microbial community,phosphatase,soil fertility,soil modifier,soil remediation,urease
Citation: Li J S, Shao X Q, Huang D, Liu K S, Shang J Y, Zhang Q, Zhao T C, Yang X M. 2022. Short-term biochar effect on soil physicochemical and microbiological properties of a degraded alpine grassland. Pedosphere. 32(3): 426–437.
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