04 Nov 2022
04 Nov 2022
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Biochar promotes soil aggregate stability and associated organic carbon sequestration, and regulates microbial community structures in Mollisols from Northeast China

Jing Sun1,2, Xinrui Lu1, Guoshuang Chen1, Nana Luo1, Qilin Zhang1,2, and Xiujun Li1,2 Jing Sun et al.
  • 1Key Laboratory of Wetland Ecology and Environment, Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, CAS, Changchun 130102, China
  • 2University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China

Abstract. Since the 1950s, heavy plowing of Mollisols, combined with a lack of organic matter intake, has resulted in severe soil degradation in Northeast China. The use of biochar in combination with fertilizer is a sustainable method of improving soil quality. In this paper, we conducted field experiments to explore the response of the stability mechanism of the soil aggregates, the dynamic properties of organic carbon, and changes in the microbial community structure to biochar. The biochar input levels were C1, C2, and C3 (9.8, 19.6, and 29.4 Mg·ha-1, respectively), while the nitrogen (N) fertilizer rates were N1/2 (300 kg·ha-1) and N (600 kg·ha-1). The field test showed that the C2N treatment increased the aggregate contents of the > 2 mm and 0.25–2 mm fractions by 56.59 and 23.41 %, respectively. The mean weight diameter increased by 41.53 %, while the geometric mean diameter increased by 21.62 %. The organic carbon content of large aggregates shows a greater increase, with an average of 28.14 %. The phospholipid fatty acids analysis revealed that bacteria (B) were the most prevalent organisms in the soil, followed by fungi (F). The C3N treatment increased the F / B ratio by 36.46 %, whereas the C3 treatment increased the gram-positive (Gm+)/gram-negative (Gm) ratio by 19.67 %. We concluded that the response of Mollisols to biochar is primarily determined by the interplay of aggregates, organic carbon, and microorganisms. Based on the sequestration of SOC and the sustainability and stability of the ecosystem, we selected the optimal ratio for biochar and N fertilizer application and provide a scientific basis for the sustainable utilization of Mollisols resources.

Jing Sun et al.

Status: open (until 08 Jan 2023)

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Jing Sun et al.


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Short summary
A field experiment was conducted to compare and analyze the effects of combined application of biochar and nitrogen fertilizer on soil aggregate stability mechanism, dynamic characteristics of aggregate organic carbon and microbial community structure in northeast black soil. To provide scientific basis for formulating effective strategies to slow down soil quality degradation and ensure the sustainable development of agroecosystem.