Biochar Effects on Soybean Growth and Nodulation

Presented by Bayan (Video 1) actually June 2013

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Soybean (Glycine max) was grown in a greenhouse experiment using an Entisol. Pots contained 5 kg of soil and were fertilized with (0-85-90 kg/ha) prior to plantation. Plants were thinned at stage VC to one per pot. Treatments consisted of biochar, 2% and 5% by weight, mixed with soil after passing through 1 cm sieve. Biochar was produced from three feedstocks, a ligneous, pine (Pinus strobes), and two herbaceous, switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) and miscanthus (Miscanthus giganteus). Growth was significantly enhanced by 2% biochar. At 5%, biochar caused stunting that was significant in the case of switchgrass biochar. Biochar increased leaf area more significantly at the 2% rate. Biochar significantly increased pod formation at stage R4, increasing number and total weight of pods. The effect of biochar on nodulation varied; pine biochar increased while herbaceous biochars reduced nodulation. Switchgrass biochar (5%) decreased nodulation by 54% while pine biochar (2%) increased nodule formation by 35% over the control.

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