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GEOLOGY, ECOLOGY, AND LANDSCAPES INWASCON https://doi.org/10.1080/24749508.2022.2163608 RESEARCH ARTICLE Effect of sterile rice spikelets derived biochar amendment on nutrient leaching and availability in paddy soil under continuous standing water a a a b a Afsana Jahan , Md Imran Ullah Sarkar , Umme Aminun Naher , Jatish Chandra Biswas and Aminul Islam a b Soil Science Division, Bangladesh Rice Research Institute, Gazipur, Bangladesh; Krishi Gobeshona Foundation, BARC Complex, Farmgate, Dhaka, Bangladesh ABSTRACT ARTICLE HISTORY Received 17 October 2022 Undisturbed soil columns were used to study the effect of sterile rice spikelets-derived Accepted 25 December 2022 biochar (SRSB) on NH -N, available P, and available K leaching and nutrients availability in a paddy soil under continuous standing water (CSW) condition. The experiment was KEYWORDS conducted for two crop cycles and comprised of three treatments: recommended dose Biochar; undisturbed soil −1 of sole chemical fertilizers (CF), CF+SRSB (2 t ha ), and control. In both crop cycles, column; nutrient leaching incorporation of SRSB reduced the leachate NH -N and available K concentrations, loss; nutrient availability; while increased the available P concentration compared to sole CF. The SRSB amend- paddy soil ment reduced the cumulative losses of NH -N by 35–38% and available K by 23–25% than CF only. However, there was no significant variation in cumulative available P loss between SRSB and CF only. The reduced leaching loss of NH -N and available K could be attributed to the better nutrient adsorption capacity of SRSB. After completion of two crop cycles, the soil pH, soil organic carbon, soil total N, available P, and available K increased with SRSB amended soils than sole CF. This study showed positive effects of SRSB on retaining nutrients and increasing their availability in the soil which could benefit efficient fertilizer management in paddy soil under CSW. Introduction availability, increased fertilizer cost, reduction in yields, and pollution of the environment (Qi et al., In Bangladesh, rice is the major cereal crops which 2020; Yao et al., 2012). Therefore, it is important to covers about 78% of the total cropped areas and pro- find out effective techniques to reduce soil nutrients vides food for about 165 million people of the country loss form paddy field for maintaining sustainable rice (Kabir et al., 2015). Recently, rice production in production. Bangladesh has been boosted sharply with The leaching loss of soil nutrients varies greatly a production of 35.85 million metric tons of cleaned depending on types of soils and management practices rice from 11.50 million hectare land in 2019 and adopted for crop production. Rice is generally grown secured third position globally (USDA, 2021). This under CSW regime in most of the farmer’s fields, increased rice production needs to be sustained for which promotes nutrient leaching losses. For example, future food security, which is a huge challenge under Sahu and Samant (2006) reported that nutrient leach- changing climate. The boost in rice production is ing loss was almost double under submerged field mainly due to the adoption of modern high yielding condition than soil saturated conditions. Nutrient varieties and improved management technologies. leaching loss is also higher in soils containing low Among the management practices, fertilizer manage- organic matter compared to its rich counterparts. ment is crucial for obtaining the desired rice yield. Therefore, application of manure could reduce the Farmers generally apply chemical fertilizers to meet use of CF as well as soil nutrient loss through leaching. the crop nutrient demand and in recent years the However, the farmers in Bangladesh are hardly inter- demand of chemical fertilizers has increased largely ested to apply huge amounts of organic fertilizers resulting in augmented production cost (Naher et al., because of its unavailability at the right time and 2015). The intensive crop production along with use of volatile price. Moreover, being a subtropical country, chemical fertilizers in variable amounts are the root the decomposition of traditional organic manure is cause of soil degradation. Moreover, a large part of the very high (Hossain et al., 2017) and requires repeated applied chemical fertilizer is lost or become unavail- applications (Haque et al., 2019). In such situations, able for plant uptake through different loss mechan- biochar, a recalcitrant carbon source, could be an isms. Nutrient leaching is the most common path in flooded paddy soils resulting in decreased nutrient effective tool to decrease the nutrient leaching losses CONTACT Afsana Jahan firstname.lastname@example.org Soil Science Division, Bangladesh Rice Research Institute, Gazipur 1701, Bangladesh © 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group on behalf of the International Water, Air & Soil Conservation Society(INWASCON). This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. 2 A. JAHAN ET AL. Table 1. Characteristics of initial soil and sterile rice spikelets derived biochar (SRSB). Soil SRSB Sand (%) 32 pH 9.2 Silt (%) 12 Total carbon (%) 62.0 Clay (%) 56 Total N (%) 1.26 Bulk density (g cm ) 1.40 Total P (%) 0.52 pH 5.46 Total K (%) 0.56 −1 Total organic carbon (g kg ) 11.0 C:N ratio 49 −1 Total N (g kg ) 0.90 −1 Available P (mg kg ) 8.78 −1 Available K (mg kg ) 83.56 from the soil (Xu et al., 2016) and to improve soil Materials and methods health (Haque et al., 2020). Soil and biochar characteristics Biochar, a carbon-rich product, is obtained from The study was conducted with the paddy soil collected the thermal decomposition of a wide range of bio- from the research farm of Bangladesh Rice Research mass like wood, leaves, manures, agricultural resi- Institute, Regional Station, Habiganj, where rice was dues, etc. under limited oxygen condition (Yao grown in rice-fallow-rice cropping pattern. Before et al., 2012). Unlike other organic matter, biochar initiation of the study, soil sample was collected from is more stable and could persist in soil for hun- a 15 cm soil depth and prepared for analyses which are dreds to even thousands of years (Lehmann, 2007; presented in Table 1. Pessenda et al., 2001). Recently, biochar application Biochar can be produced from a wide range of has been appeared as a promising soil amendment biomass. The biochar used in this study was prepared for its effectiveness to increase soil carbon storage, from sterile rice spikelets. Sterile rice spikelets are remediate polluted soil, and reduce global warming waste product that derived during the cleaning and by mitigating the greenhouse gas emission from winnowing of rice grain. Making biochar from this agricultural soil. Biochar could improve soil health waste product could be an efficient waste management by influencing soil biological and physicochemical technology. The SRSB was produced under limited properties such as soil microbial activity, enzyme oxygen condition at approximately 500°C temperature activity, porosity, bulk density, water retention for 3 hours. The SRSB was ground and sieved through capacity, surface area, drainage and aeration, pH a 2-mm sieve before application. The basic properties and OC (Chan et al., 2007; Glaser et al., 1986; of the SRSB are presented in Table 1. Laird et al., 2010; Zhang et al., 2022). The ability of biochar to reduce nutrient leaching from soil has been reported by some previous studies Sampling and preparation of soil columns (Laird et al., 2010; Singh et al., 2010), which is attrib- uted to its higher sorption capacity and increased The leaching study was carried out in undisturbed soil water retention capacity because of large surface columns of 45 cm height and 12.7 cm diameter. The area and internal porosity (Singh et al., 2010; schematic diagram of the soil column is presented in Steiner et al., 2007). However, the effectiveness of Figure 1. The soil columns were collected using biochar varies with the quality of biomass used and a polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipe (60 cm height × pyrolysis process as well as the soils where it is 12.7 cm diameter) at field capacity. The PVC pipe applied. There are several studies that examined the was inserted into the soil by gentle pressing with ability of biochar to reduce nutrient leaching from a metal plate placed over the top of the pipe and soil (Bu et al., 2019; Li et al., 2019; Xu et al., 2016; Yao simultaneously the soil, outside of the PVC pipe was et al., 2012). Nonetheless, such studies are very lim- shaved out cylindrically to avoid the compaction of ited in paddy soils having distinguished physico- inner soil. Once the PVC pipes penetrated to a depth chemical properties than upland soils. We of 50 cm, they were dug out from the field. Each end of hypothesized that SRSB incorporation in paddy soil the soil column was closed with plastic caps to prevent will minimize nutrient leaching losses because of its moisture loss and brought to the laboratory carefully. adsorption and will increase soil nutrient availability A total of nine soil columns were collected from the by changing soil characteristics like pH, carbon con- field following a zigzag method. tent and cation exchange capacity. Therefore, this After bringing to the laboratory, about 5 cm of soil experiment was conducted (i) to investigate the effi- was removed from the bottom of the soil columns. The cacy of SRSB on minimizing N, P and K leaching 2 cm of the empty space was filled with fine and coarse losses and to study the effect of SRSB on N, P, and sand washed with distilled water and the rest 3 cm was K nutrient availability in a paddy soil under CSW filled with 3- to 7-mm-sized gravels. Nylon mesh of regime using undisturbed soil columns. 1 mm was placed at both the ends of sand and gravel GEOLOGY, ECOLOGY, AND LANDSCAPES 3 days and then of 14 days up to 70 days for chemical analysis. The study was repeated in two crop cycles, while in the second crop cycle the soil columns received only the chemical fertilizers. The leachate loss of nutrients was calculated as follows (Qi et al., 2020): Nutrient loss ¼ C � V (i) i i i¼1 where C is the nutrient concentration in leachate at the i time, and V is the volume (L) of leachate at the i time. After two crop cycles of the study, the soil was extracted from the PVC cylinders and separated in depths of 0–15, 15–30, and 30–45 cm. These samples were air-dried and sieved through a 2-mm sieve and analyzed for the pH, total OC, total N, available P, and available K. Analysis methods The hydrometer method was used for determining the soil texture (Gee & Bauder, 1986). The soil bulk density was determined using core sampler (Blake & Hartge, 1986). The pH of the soil and biochar were determined by mixing with distilled water with a sample-water ratio of 1:2.5 and 1:20 (w/v), respectively (McLean, 1982). Figure 1. Schematic diagram of column study. The total OC of soil and SRSB was determined by wet oxidation method (Nelson et al., 1996). The leachate NH + -N was determined by the method described by layer to prevent soil loss from the column. The bottom Islam et al. (2016). The available P and K contents of opening of the soil column was closed with perforated leachate and soil were determined by the method PVC ends-cap to allow the leachate outflow. described by Olsen and Sommers (1982) and Olsen et al. (1954), respectively. The total N of soil and SRSB was determined by the method described by Nelson Soil column leaching and Sommers (1973). The total P and K contents of The soil columns were placed in the racks in the net the SRSB were determined by nitric-perchloric acid house at room temperature. The soil columns received digestion method (Yamakawa, 1992). three treatments as follows: T = soil amended with recommended dose of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), Statistical analysis and potassium (K) chemical fertilizers (CF) as urea, triple super phosphate and muriate of potash, T = soil The data of nutrient leaching and soil properties were amended with CF + SRSB and T = soil without fertili- presented as means with standard error. The data were zer/SRSB (control). The N, P, and K fertilizers were subjected to one-way analysis of variance, and mean −1 applied at 120, 10, and 80 kg ha , respectively. The comparison was performed with the least significant −1 SRSB was applied at 2 t ha . Each treatment was different (LSD) test at 5% level of significant. The replicated in three columns. All fertilizers and SRSB statistical analysis was performed using STAR statisti- were applied as basal dose at the upper 15 cm of the cal software (Version 2.0.1, International Rice soil columns. Thus, the soil of top 15 cm depth of the Research Institute, Manila, the Philippines). All the columns was taken out carefully and mixed with the figures were made using “ggplot2” version 3.3.6 pack- fertilizers and SRSB according to the respective treat- age in “RStudio” version 4.1.2. ments. After that the soils were again placed into the respective columns. A single rice seedling was trans- planted in each column. The soil columns were irri- Results gated by maintaining a water level of 2 cm above the NH+ -N leaching soil surface with distilled water throughout the incu- bation period. From each column, leachate samples The mean concentration of NH -N in the leachates th were collected every day and stored in the refrigerator was high at the initiation of the experiment (the 7 at 4°C. The leachates of 7 days were mixed up to 42 day) at both crop cycles irrespective of treatments 4 A. JAHAN ET AL. Figure 2. Treatment effects on concentration and cumulative loss of NH -N in the leachate of soil columns during crop growing −1 period [T1 = CF, T2 = CF + SRSB (2 t ha ), T3 = Control]. + nd (Figure 2). The leachate NH -N concentration from with sole CF up to 42 day of the study and after that soil columns treated with SRSB+CF and CF only, the changes in P concentrations were nonsignificant. In decreased sharply up to 35 days for cycle 1 and up to cycle 2, the concentrations of available P in the leachate 28 days for cycle 2 and then its concentration reduced under different treatments were higher initially and slowly. The least leachate NH -N concentration was decreased gradually with the increase of crop growing found in control treatment and the change rate was season. Combined application of SRSB and CF signifi- also slow than other treatments. The addition of SRSB cantly increased the available P concentration in the significantly reduced the leachate NH -N concentra- leachate compared with the sole CF up to 35 days and tion compared to sole CF up to 35 days for cycle 1 and thereafter no significant differences in concentrations up to 28 days in cycle 2 and thereafter the leachate between SRSB+CF and CF were observed (Figure 3(a)). NH -N concentrations in these two treatments were Application of SRSB increased the cumulative P loss by statistically similar (Figure 2(a)). The cumulative loss 12% and 21% in cycle 1 and cycle 2, respectively, of NH -N in different treatments increased gradually compared to CF only. However, this variation between with the progress of crop growing season, although the these two treatments was statistically non-significant. th increase slowed down after 35 day for both the crop- (Figure 3(b)). ping cycles (Figure 2(b)). The cumulative leaching loss of NH -N in soil columns treated with SRSB+CF significantly reduced by 38% and 35% in cycle 1 and Potassium leaching cycle 2, respectively, compared with the soil columns Available K concentration in the leachate under treated with sole CF. different treatments was higher initially and decreased with the progress of crop growing season for both the studied cycles (Figure 4). In SRSB+CF Phosphorus leaching and sole CF treatments, available K concentration In cycle 1, the concentrations of available P in the significantly reduced up to 28 days after transplant- leachate under different treatments showed an increas- ing for both the crop cycle and after that there was st ing trend up to 21 day, where it reached at peak and no significant differences in available th then gradually decreased to the lowest at 70 day K concentrations. However, the differences in lea- (Figure 3). The concentrations of available P in the chate K concentrations between SRSB+CF and sole leachate were higher in SRSB+CF treatment compared CF treatments were not statistically significant GEOLOGY, ECOLOGY, AND LANDSCAPES 5 Figure 3. Treatment effects on concentration and cumulative loss of available P in the leachate of soil columns during the crop −1 growing period [T1 = CF, T2 = CF + SRSB (2 t ha ), T3 = Control]. Figure 4. Treatment effects on concentration and cumulative loss of available K in the leachate of soil columns during the crop −1 growing period [T1 = CF, T2 = CF + SRSB (2 t ha ), T3 = Control]. (Figure 4(a)). Compared to sole CF, the cumulative cycle 1 and cycle 2, respectively, with SRSB+CF loss of available K decreased by 23% and 25% in treatment (Figure 4(b)). 6 A. JAHAN ET AL. Figure 5. Treatment effects on soil properties (a. soil pH, b. soil total OC, c. soil total N, d. soil available P, e. soil available K). T1 = CF, T2 = CF + SRSB (2 t ha ), T3 = Control. Change in soil properties After two crop cycles, significant increase in the soil pH (5.94) at 15 cm depth of the soil column was observed with the SRSB+CF treatment compared to sole CF (5.25) and control (5.28) treatments (Figure 5). Additionally, sole CF and control treatments showed no significant variations in soil pH at 30- and 45- cm soil depth. Irrespective of treatments, soil total OC, total N, available P and available K decreased significantly with the increase in soil depths. Addition of SRSB significantly increased the soil total OC, total N, available P, and available K by 43%, 31%, 43%, and 33%, respectively, at the top 15 cm soil depth compared to sole CF. Below 15 cm soil depth, there was no significant variation in soil total OC and Figure 6. Correlation matrix among the soil properties. available K content between the SRSB+CF and sole CF treatments. At 45 cm and 30 cm soil depths, soil total N, processes. Under submerged condition, the dominant and available P contents, respectively were higher with form of inorganic N is the NH and conversion of sole CF than SRSB+CF treatment (Figure 5). Moreover, + − NH to NO is negligible (Ponnamperuma, 1972). the studied soil properties showed a significant (p < 4 3 As the study was conducted under CSW water regime, 0.001) positive correlation among each other (Figure 6). only NH+ leaching was measured. Application of −1 + SRSB at 2 t ha significantly reduced NH -N con- centration in the leachate as well as its cumulative loss Discussion compared to sole CF under CSW condition. Our find- NH+ -N leaching ings are supported by previous studies of Dempster et al. (2012) and Yao et al. (2012) who reported reduc- The efficacy of biochar on nutrient leaching is sub- tion in concentration and cumulative losses of NH jected to complex chemical, physical, and biological 4 GEOLOGY, ECOLOGY, AND LANDSCAPES 7 -N with biochar application. The reduced leaching loss earlier. Similar findings have been reported by Kuo of NH -N with biochar application could be attribu- et al. (2020). ted to the strong adsorption of free NH with biochar particles because of its higher cation exchange capa- Soil properties city. Moreover, biochar contains numerous pores with Incorporation of SRSB showed positive effect on soil large surface areas which facilitates NH adsorption pH, OC, total N, available P and K. The increase in soil (Selvarajh et al., 2020). Another mechanism of pH and OC content due to SRSB application is attrib- reduced leaching loss of NH -N is the increased uted to its alkaline (pH 9.2) nature and higher carbon water retention capacity of soil due to biochar applica- content (62%) (Table 1). These findings were in line tion which consequently reduces the leaching with Ali et al. (2022) which reported significant (Dempster et al., 2012). During the study period, increase in soil pH and OC when biochar was applied total leachate volume was comparatively lower in with inorganic fertilizer in acidic soil. The reduced SRSB amended columns (12 L) than the CF-treated cumulative leaching loss of NH -N and K with soil columns (14 L) which also explained the reduced SRSB application resulted in an increased soil total cumulative loss of NH -N. N and available K contents in our study. Moreover, the inherent higher total N (1.26%) and K (0.56%) Available phosphorus leaching contents of the SRSB (Table 1) could also build-up In this study, SRSB amendment increased the leachate these nutrients in the soil. Another mechanism of available P significantly for a certain period compared increased soil N with SRSB amendment could be due to CF only. However, there was no significant varia- to slow mineralization of N as biochar contains high tion in the cumulative loss of available P between these organic carbon (Selvarajh et al., 2021). A high C:N two treatments. The increased leachate concentration ratio (49) of SRSB also supported this finding. On of available P with SRSB amendment compared to sole the other hand, the increased available K content in CF indicated that SRSB increased the availability of the soil with SRSB incorporation might be because of P in the soil solution. The availability of P in the high amounts of soluble K salts in biochar (Karim solution is governed by several physicochemical et al., 2017). The increase in soil available P could be mechanisms like changes in soil pH, soil organic car- attributed to the increase in soil pH as it mobilizes bon content, microbial activity, and P mineralization some of the immobilized P in the soil which was (Hardie et al., 2015; Sarkar et al., 2006). Soil pH ranged supported by the strong positive correlation between between 5.5 and 7.2 in aquas system favors optimal soil pH and available P (Figure 6). availability of P for plant uptake (Cerozi & Fitzsimmons, 2016). Moreover, P availability is high Conclusion in soil with high OC. In general, adequate OC pro- motes the activity of P solubilizing bacteria and thus Incorporation of SRSB in the rice soil under CSW higher P mineralization (Sarkar et al., 2006). In this condition, reduced the leaching loss of NH -N by study, SRSB increased soil pH and OC content com- 35 to 38% and available K loss by 23 to 25% pared to sole CF-treated soil (Figure 5(a,b)) which compared to sole CF. The cumulative leaching supports the increased availability of P. Moreover, loss of P was higher by 12-21% in the SRSB the correlation analysis also showed that soil available amended soil compared to sole CF. In addition, P has significant (p < 0.001) positive correlation with SRSB incorporation increased soil pH, OC and the soil pH and OC (Figure 6). the availability of N, P, and K in the soil solution. The findings of our study indicated that SRSB Potassium leaching incorporation into the paddy soil could benefit Application of SRSB showed no significant effect on farmers by reducing their fertilizer application leachate K but significantly reduced the cumulative cost as well as could reduce the environmental loss of available K concentration compared to CF pollution because of reduced nutrient leaching only treatment during the study period. No significant losses. However, this study was a column study variation in the leachate K concentrations between with a single dose of SRSB under net house condi- SRSB and CF only treatments could be explained by tion, which does not exactly represent the field the soil inherent properties. The soil of this study was conditions, a much more complex ecosystem. clayey (56% clay) as presented in Table 1 and the Moreover, we did not study the rice crop’s growth clayey soils inherently have higher nutrient holding and yield response to applied SRSB. Therefore, capacity due to higher cation exchange capacity (Tahir long-term field study with different rates of SRSB & Marschner, 2017). The reduced cumulative K loss is needed to find out the optimum rate of SRSB for with SRSB amendment could be attributed to the maximum yield benefit. Nonetheless, this study will reduced leachate volume due to increased water hold- give an insight of large-scale application of SRSB in ing capacity of the soil which have been mentioned the paddy soil. 8 A. JAHAN ET AL. Recycling of Organic Waste in Agriculture, 6(4), Disclosure statement 311–319. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40093-017-0179-1 No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors. Islam, S. M., Yam, K. G., Shah, A. 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Geology Ecology and Landscapes – Taylor & Francis
Published: Jan 4, 2023
Keywords: Biochar; undisturbed soil column; nutrient leaching loss; nutrient availability; paddy soil
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