Long term effects of biochar on select soil enzyme activities

Presented by Bayan (Video 2) actually June 2013

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A greenhouse experiment was carried out to test the effect of biochar on select soil enzyme activities, acid- and alkaline-phosphatase, arylamidase, and β-glucosidase. Biochar was produced through slow pyrolysis from a ligneous, pine (Pinus strobus) and an herbaceous, switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) feedstock. Soybean (Glycine max) was grown in pots with 5 kg Entisol, fertilized at 0-85-90 kg/ha prior to plantation. Seeds were thinned at stage VC to one per pot. Treatments were: No Biochar/No Plants, No Biochar, and 2 and 5% Biochar of pine and miscanthus. Soil samples were taken after 1-day, 3-days, 10-days, 30-days, and 60-days. Enzyme activities increased during the course of study. Acid phosphatase activities were not affected by the present of biochar. The 5% Miscanthus biochar, however, had an inhibitory but insignificant effect on acid phosphatase activity. Biochar did not have any effect on the activity of alkaline phosphatase or β-glucosidase. The Miscanthus biochar initially increased the arylamidase activities but subsided after ten days.