Impact of Biochar on Soil Health
Abstract: Agricultural activities and soils emit greenhouse gases, and emissions occur in the conversion of land. Agricultural soils have lost a large portion of their antecedent soil organic carbon storage, becoming a source of atmospheric carbon-dioxide. Biochar is charcoal, optimized with characteristics deemed useful in agriculture, interest in biochar stems from its potential agronomic benefits and carbon sequestration ability. As a soil amendment, biochar can stabilize carbon belowground and potentially increase agricultural and forest productivity, which appear to be sensitive to the conditions prevailing during its formation. Proposed mechanisms evidence point to added environmental function in the mitigation of diffuse pollution and emissions of trace gases from soil; precluding the possibility of contaminants accumulating in soil from the incorporation of biochar. Biochar alters soil properties, encourages microbial activity and enhances sorption of inorganic and organic compounds. Research studies point to their ability to increase the plant available water in the soil which enables the plants to survive longer with water shortage, increase soil fertility and agricultural yields, improve soil structure, aeration and water penetration, and land reclamation. Biochar stability depends on the molar ratio of oxygen to carbon (O: C) in the resulting black carbon and appears to provide, at minimum, a 1000-year biochar half-life. The aim of this review is to provide a sound knowledge, and to recommend future research to systematically understand biochar-Ninteractions over the long term relating to biochar application to soils and the perspective areas yet to be explored.
[S. Krishnakumar, A.G. Rajalakshmi, B. Balaganesh, P. Manikandan, C. Vinoth and V. Rajendran (2014); Impact of Biochar on Soil Health Int. J. of Adv. Res. 2 (4). 0] (ISSN 2320-5407). www.journalijar.com
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