Gasification biochar has limited effects on functional and structural diversity of soil microbial communities in a temperate agroecosystem

Valentina Imparato, Veronika Hansen, Susana Santos, Tue Kjærgaard Nielsen, Laura Giagnoni, Henrik Hauggaard-Nielsen, Anders Johansen, Giancarlo Renella, Anne Winding

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Biochar may enhance soil fertility and carbon (C) sequestration but there is still a lack of comprehensive understanding of its effects on soil microbial communities and functioning. This study tested the differential effects of two doses (6-8 and 0.8-1.4 t ha-1 for High and Low doses, respectively) of wheat straw gasification biochar (GBC) and fresh straw incorporated as soil amendments into an agricultural field in Denmark. Soils were analysed three months after the amendments for pH, total organic matter, microbial biomass (ATP), ten enzymatic activities, catabolic potential by substrate-induced respiration (MicroResp™), soil toxicity test (BioTox™) and bacterial community structure (Illumina 16S rRNA gene sequencing). No significant effect of biochar treatment was observed regarding ATP content, catabolic community profiles and soil toxicity. The higher dose of GBC increased phenol oxidase activity and soil pH, and decreased the cellulase activity. No major effect of high dose GBC was observed on the soil community diversity, and only minor effect on the community composition, with an increase in the relative abundance of a single OTU associated with Acidobacteria_Gp16. Addition of low dose of GBC caused an increase in the relative abundance of the rare members in the microbial communities thus increasing the diversity of soil microorganisms. A comparable effect was observed with the addition of fresh straw. Overall, our results indicated that GBC as soil amendment had a limited effect on the functional and structural diversity of soil microbial communities in a Danish temperate agroecosystem
Translated title of the contributionForgasningsbiokoks har begrænset effekt på den funktionelle og strukturelle diversitet af jordens mikrobielle samfund i et tempereret agroøkosystem
Original languageEnglish
JournalSoil Biology & Biochemistry
Volume99
Pages (from-to)128-136
Number of pages9
ISSN0038-0717
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • 16S illumina sequencing
  • MicroResp
  • microbial activity
  • Biochar amendment
  • rare microbiome
  • toxicity test

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