Changes in soil chemical properties as affected by pyrogenic organic matter amendment with different intensity and frequency

Ruzhen Wang, Yulan Zhang*, Artemio Cerda Bolinches, Mingming Cao, Yongyong Zhang, Jinfei Yin, Yong Jiang, Lijun Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Pyrogenic organic matter (PyOM) has long been used as a soil amendment to improve soil physicochemical properties. However, few studies simultaneously investigated both intensities and frequencies of PyOM addition on soil chemical properties of soil base cations, soil pH buffering capacity (pHBC), and plant available micronutrients. In the main food production area of lower Liaohe River Plain in Northeast China, a field manipulation of PyOM addition was initiated in 2013 to examine how the intensities (0, 1%, 3%, and 5% of 0–20 cm soil mass) and frequencies (3% of soil mass applied once versus yearly for 3 years) of PyOM amendment affected soil chemical properties. Higher intensity of PyOM addition significantly increased soil exchangeable Mg (by 24.2%), which was caused by increase of soil pH, soil exchangeable surfaces, and soil organic matter. Plant available Fe, Mn, and Cu were significantly decreased with increasing PyOM addition intensity by up to 39.4%, 50.8%, and 30.0%, respectively, especially under the highest amount of PyOM amendment (5%). This was possibly due to removal of micronutrients with plant biomass or irreversible binding of available micronutrients on PyOM which decreased the extraction efficiency. Under the same amount of PyOM addition (3% in total), higher frequency of PyOM amendment significantly increased soil exchangeable Mg, while lower frequency showed no impact as compared to control plots (CK). Higher frequency of PyOM amendment significantly decreased plant available Mn and Cu as compared to both lower frequency and CK treatments. Both the intensity and frequency of PyOM addition significantly increased soil pH but showed no influence on soil pHBC. Our results showed that exchangeable Mg increased but available Mn and Cu decreased with both PyOM amendment intensity and frequency. Even though PyOM amendment could enrich soil base cations, it might cause deficiency of available micronutrients and pose a threat to plant productivity in agroecosystems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-168
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Base cation
  • Biochar
  • Soil acidification
  • Soil fertility
  • Trace element

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