Effects of biochar on carbon and nitrogen fluxes in boreal forest soil

New paper by Palviainen et al., 2018 is dealing with effects on biochar on C and N fluxes in boreal forest soils. The addition of biochar to soil may offer a chance to mitigate climate change by increasing soil carbon stocks, improving soil fertility and enhancing plant growth.

The results of the study indicate that wood-derived biochar amendment of 5–10 t ha−1 did not have a clear and consistent effect on soil CO2 effluxes in boreal Scots pine forests. Biochar amendment increased the soil pH but it had no significant effect on soil microbial biomass and biological N fixation at this stage. Nitrogen mineralization rates in the organic layer had a tendency to increase with the amount of added biochar, but no statistically significant effect was detected. The results suggest that biochar can be utilized to climate change mitigation and C sequestration in boreal forests without causing undesirable effects on soil microbial biomass, key N cycling processes or native soil C stocks.

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