Transient negative biochar effects on plant growth are strongest after microbial species loss

Mette Vestergård, W.H.G. Hol, Freddy ten Hooven, Henk Duyts, Tess F.J. van de Voorde, T.M. Bezemer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Biochar has been explored as an organic amendment to improve soil quality and benefit plant growth. The overall positive effects of biochar on crop yields are generally attributed to abiotic changes, while the alternative causal pathway via changes in soil biota is unexplored. We compared plant growth effects of legumes in sterile soil inoculated with dilutions of soil and soil microbial suspensions to determine the direct effects of biochar-induced changes in soil biota on plant growth. Suspensions and soil were from soil amended with biochar and soil without biochar. By comparing consecutive plant growth phases on the same inoculated soils, we also determined the temporal effects of soil biota from biochar-amended and control soils. Biota from biochar-amended soil was less beneficial for Medicago sativa growth, especially with small amounts of inocula. Flowering was delayed in the presence of biota from biochar plots. Inoculum with either soil or soil suspension gave similar results for plant biomass, indicating that microorganisms play a major role. Vicia villosa growth did not respond to the various inocula, even though the inoculum quantity strongly affected nematode community composition and protozoan abundance. In a later growing phase the negative effect of biochar-associated biota on Medicago growth mostly disappeared, which leads to the conclusion that the benefits of biochar application via abiotic changes may outweigh the negative effects of biochar on soil biota.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)442-451
JournalSoil Biology and Biochemistry
Volume115
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017

Fingerprint

biochar
Soil
plant growth
Biota
Growth
soil biota
soil
inoculum
biota
Suspensions
organisms
loss
effect
Vicia villosa
Medicago
soil quality
Medicago sativa
Vicia
crop yield
flowering

Keywords

  • Biochar
  • Medicago sativa
  • Serial dilution
  • Soil inoculation
  • Vicia villosa

Cite this

Vestergård, M., Hol, W. H. G., ten Hooven, F., Duyts, H., van de Voorde, T. F. J., & Bezemer, T. M. (2017). Transient negative biochar effects on plant growth are strongest after microbial species loss. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 115, 442-451. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.soilbio.2017.09.016
Vestergård, Mette ; Hol, W.H.G. ; ten Hooven, Freddy ; Duyts, Henk ; van de Voorde, Tess F.J. ; Bezemer, T.M. / Transient negative biochar effects on plant growth are strongest after microbial species loss. In: Soil Biology and Biochemistry. 2017 ; Vol. 115. pp. 442-451.
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abstract = "Biochar has been explored as an organic amendment to improve soil quality and benefit plant growth. The overall positive effects of biochar on crop yields are generally attributed to abiotic changes, while the alternative causal pathway via changes in soil biota is unexplored. We compared plant growth effects of legumes in sterile soil inoculated with dilutions of soil and soil microbial suspensions to determine the direct effects of biochar-induced changes in soil biota on plant growth. Suspensions and soil were from soil amended with biochar and soil without biochar. By comparing consecutive plant growth phases on the same inoculated soils, we also determined the temporal effects of soil biota from biochar-amended and control soils. Biota from biochar-amended soil was less beneficial for Medicago sativa growth, especially with small amounts of inocula. Flowering was delayed in the presence of biota from biochar plots. Inoculum with either soil or soil suspension gave similar results for plant biomass, indicating that microorganisms play a major role. Vicia villosa growth did not respond to the various inocula, even though the inoculum quantity strongly affected nematode community composition and protozoan abundance. In a later growing phase the negative effect of biochar-associated biota on Medicago growth mostly disappeared, which leads to the conclusion that the benefits of biochar application via abiotic changes may outweigh the negative effects of biochar on soil biota.",
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Vestergård, M, Hol, WHG, ten Hooven, F, Duyts, H, van de Voorde, TFJ & Bezemer, TM 2017, 'Transient negative biochar effects on plant growth are strongest after microbial species loss', Soil Biology and Biochemistry, vol. 115, pp. 442-451. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.soilbio.2017.09.016

Transient negative biochar effects on plant growth are strongest after microbial species loss. / Vestergård, Mette; Hol, W.H.G.; ten Hooven, Freddy; Duyts, Henk; van de Voorde, Tess F.J.; Bezemer, T.M.

In: Soil Biology and Biochemistry, Vol. 115, 01.12.2017, p. 442-451.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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T1 - Transient negative biochar effects on plant growth are strongest after microbial species loss

AU - Vestergård, Mette

AU - Hol, W.H.G.

AU - ten Hooven, Freddy

AU - Duyts, Henk

AU - van de Voorde, Tess F.J.

AU - Bezemer, T.M.

PY - 2017/12/1

Y1 - 2017/12/1

N2 - Biochar has been explored as an organic amendment to improve soil quality and benefit plant growth. The overall positive effects of biochar on crop yields are generally attributed to abiotic changes, while the alternative causal pathway via changes in soil biota is unexplored. We compared plant growth effects of legumes in sterile soil inoculated with dilutions of soil and soil microbial suspensions to determine the direct effects of biochar-induced changes in soil biota on plant growth. Suspensions and soil were from soil amended with biochar and soil without biochar. By comparing consecutive plant growth phases on the same inoculated soils, we also determined the temporal effects of soil biota from biochar-amended and control soils. Biota from biochar-amended soil was less beneficial for Medicago sativa growth, especially with small amounts of inocula. Flowering was delayed in the presence of biota from biochar plots. Inoculum with either soil or soil suspension gave similar results for plant biomass, indicating that microorganisms play a major role. Vicia villosa growth did not respond to the various inocula, even though the inoculum quantity strongly affected nematode community composition and protozoan abundance. In a later growing phase the negative effect of biochar-associated biota on Medicago growth mostly disappeared, which leads to the conclusion that the benefits of biochar application via abiotic changes may outweigh the negative effects of biochar on soil biota.

AB - Biochar has been explored as an organic amendment to improve soil quality and benefit plant growth. The overall positive effects of biochar on crop yields are generally attributed to abiotic changes, while the alternative causal pathway via changes in soil biota is unexplored. We compared plant growth effects of legumes in sterile soil inoculated with dilutions of soil and soil microbial suspensions to determine the direct effects of biochar-induced changes in soil biota on plant growth. Suspensions and soil were from soil amended with biochar and soil without biochar. By comparing consecutive plant growth phases on the same inoculated soils, we also determined the temporal effects of soil biota from biochar-amended and control soils. Biota from biochar-amended soil was less beneficial for Medicago sativa growth, especially with small amounts of inocula. Flowering was delayed in the presence of biota from biochar plots. Inoculum with either soil or soil suspension gave similar results for plant biomass, indicating that microorganisms play a major role. Vicia villosa growth did not respond to the various inocula, even though the inoculum quantity strongly affected nematode community composition and protozoan abundance. In a later growing phase the negative effect of biochar-associated biota on Medicago growth mostly disappeared, which leads to the conclusion that the benefits of biochar application via abiotic changes may outweigh the negative effects of biochar on soil biota.

KW - Biochar

KW - Medicago sativa

KW - Serial dilution

KW - Soil inoculation

KW - Vicia villosa

U2 - 10.1016/j.soilbio.2017.09.016

DO - 10.1016/j.soilbio.2017.09.016

M3 - Article

VL - 115

SP - 442

EP - 451

JO - Soil Biology and Biochemistry

JF - Soil Biology and Biochemistry

SN - 0038-0717

ER -