The production of biochar and its possible effects on soil properties and phosphate solubilizing bacteria

Ali Raza Siddiqui, Shabana Nazeer, Muhammad Awais Piracha, Muhammad Masood Saleem, Iqra Siddiqi, Sher Muhammad Shahzad, Ghulam Sarwar

Abstract


Biochar is a carbon rich charred organic waste resulted from pyrolysis under limited or oxygen free conditions. Biochar materials are generally characterized by higher surface area and charge density, thus have sufficient nutrients and water retention onto these charred products. Biochar may influence the soil structural stability, porosity, hydraulic conductivity, soil aeration and cation exchange capacity (CEC), resulting in improved soil fertility and productivity. In addition, biochar can also offer a favorable niche for soil microbes, resulting in elevated pattern of growth and proliferation. Phosphorus (P) is considered the most frequently deficient essential element in plant nutrition and sustainable P management is necessary for maintaining the long term soil fertility and crop productivity. Biochar may also help to improve P availability in soil by providing habitat and carbon supply to phosphate solubilizing bacteria (PSB) which can solubilize P compounds of low solubility. Integrated application of biochar and PSB can therefore, be exploited as ecofriendly strategy for the enhancement of PSB activity in soil to mobilize higher P for increased plant productivity. Present review deals with production technology and properties of biochar as well as its impact on soil health and plant growth, focusing on P solubilization and phytoavailability.

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