Long-term Biochar Agronomic Field Trial
Status: Ongoing, since 2009
Contact person: Prof Davey Jones
Funding sources: European Union SEREN programme, European Union KESS programme
Background: Biochar is regarded by many as one of the answers to increasing long-term storage of soil carbon, helping to reduce the warming impacts of carbon in the atmosphere. However, there is much work to do to determine the impacts of adding biochar on soil processes over a long-term period. Mixed hardwood biochar was added in a randomised block design field trial at three rates in 2009 (0, 25 or 50 t ha-1), and the impacts on the growth of various crops and soil function investigated. There has also been a direct comparison of the biochar versus wood ash as a soil amendment.
- To evaluate the impact of biochar on crop production and soil quality at the field scale over multiple cropping cycles
- To assess the impact of biochar and wood ash on ecosystem service delivery
- To quantify the impact of repeated biochar and wood ash doses on crop and soil quality
- To evaluate farmer opinion on the use of biochar and wood ash in cropping and grassland systems
- To compare the benefits of biochar and wood ash using a life cycle approach
- To assess the impact of biochar on metal, pesticide and PAH movement and attenuation in soil
- Collaborators: Prof Daniel Murphy and Dr Daniel Dempster (University of Western Australia), Dr Richard Quilliam (University of Stirling), Dr Johannes Rousk (University of Lund, Sweden)
- Biochar concomitantly increases simazine sorption in sandy loam soil and lowers its dissipation Cheng, H., Jones, D., Hill, P. & Bastami, M. S., 2017, In : Archives of Agronomy and Soil Science . 63, 8, p. 1082-1092
- Biochar stimulates the decomposition of simple organic matter and suppresses the decomposition of complex organic matter in sandy loam soil Cheng, H., Hill, P., Bastami, M. S. & Jones, D., Jun 2017, In : GCB Bioenergy. p. 1110-1121
- Critical comparison of the impact of biochar and wood ash on soil organic matter cycling and grassland productivity Jones, D., Hill, P. & Chadwick, D., Jul 2017, In : Soil Biology and Biochemistry. 110, p. 134-142
- Influence of biochar produced from different pyrolysis temperature on nutrient retention and leaching Cheng, H., Jones, D. L., Hill, P., Bastami, M. S. B. & Tu, C. I., 5 Oct 2017, In : Archives of Agronomy and Soil Science . 64, 6, p. 850-859
- Assessing biochar ecotoxicology for soil amendment by root phytotoxicity bioassays Visioli, G., Conti, F. D., Menta, C., Bandiera, M., Malcevschi, A., Jones, D. & Vamerali, T., 1 Mar 2016, In : Environmental Monitoring and Assessment. 188, 3
- Integration of biochar with animal manure and nitrogen for improving maize yields and soil properties in calcareous semi-arid agroecosystems Arif, M., Ali, K., Jan, M. T., Shah, Z., Jones, D. & Quilliam, R. S., 15 Aug 2016, In : Field Crops Research. 195, p. 28-35
- Integrated use of Biochar: A tool for improving soil and wheat quality of degraded soil under wheat-maiza cropping pattern Ali, K., Arif, M., Jan, M. T., Khan, M. J. & Jones, D. L., 1 Feb 2015, In : Pakistan Journal of Botany. 47, 1, p. 233-240
- Contrasting effects of straw and straw-derived biochar amendments on greenhouse gas emissions within double rice cropping systems Shen, J., Tang, H., Liu, J., Wang, C., Li, Y., Ge, T., Jones, D. L. & Wu, J., 15 Apr 2014, In : Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment. 188, p. 264-274
- Does biochar application alter heavy metal dynamics in agricultural soil? Lucchini, P., Qulliam, R. S., DeLuca, T. H., Vamerali, T. & Jones, D. L., 1 Feb 2014, In : Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment. 184, p. 149-157
- Effects of biochar amendment on the net greenhouse gas emission and greenhouse gas intensity in a Chinese double rice cropping system Liu, J. Y., Shen, J. L., Li, Y., Su, Y. R., Ge, T., Jones, D. L. & Wu, J. S., 16 Sep 2014, In : EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF SOIL BIOLOGY. 65, p. 30-39
- Increased bioavailability of metals in two contrasting agricultural soils treated with waste wood-derived biochar and ash Lucchini, P., Quilliam, R. S., DeLuca, T. H., Vamerali, T. & Jones, D. L., 1 Mar 2014, In : Environmental Science and Pollution Research. 21, 5, p. 3230-3240
- Metal contaminated biochar and wood ash negatively affect plant growth and soil quality after land application Jones, D. L. & Quilliam, R. S., 15 Jul 2014, In : Journal of Hazardous Materials. 276, p. 362-370
- Quilliam, RS; DeLuca, TH; Jones, DL (2013) Biochar application reduces nodulation but increases nitrogenase activity in clover. Plant and Soil 366, 83-92.
- Quilliam, RS; Rangecroft, S; Emmett, BA; DeLuca TH, Jones DL (2013) Is biochar a source or sink for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) compounds in agricultural soils? Global Change Biology Bioenergy 5, 96-103.
- Quilliam, RS; Marsden, KA; Gertler, C; Rousk, J, DeLuca, TH, Jones DL (2012) Nutrient dynamics, microbial growth and weed emergence in biochar amended soil are influenced by time since application and reapplication rate. Agriculture Ecosystems & Environment 158: 192-199.
- Dempster, DN; Jones, DL; Murphy, DV (2012) Organic nitrogen mineralisation in two contrasting agro-ecosystems is unchanged by biochar addition. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 48: 47-50.
- Jones, DL; Rousk, J; Edwards-Jones, G; DeLuca TH, Murphy, DV (2012) Biochar-mediated changes in soil quality and plant growth in a three year field trial. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 45: 113-124.
- Dempster, DN; Jones, DL; Murphy, DV (2012) Clay and biochar amendments decreased inorganic but not dissolved organic nitrogen leaching in soil. Soil Research 50: 216-221.
- Jones, D. L.; Murphy, D. V.; Khalid, M.; Ahmad, A; Edwards-Jones G; DeLuca TH (2011) Short-term biochar-induced increase in soil CO2 release is both biotically and abiotically mediated. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 43: 1723-1731.
- Jones, DL; Edwards-Jones, G; Murphy, DV (2011) Biochar mediated alterations in herbicide breakdown and leaching in soil. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 43: 804-813.
Figure 1. The application of biochar to the field plots before being power harrowed into the soil
Figure 2. The biochar field trial site planted with fodder maize
Figure 3. Biochar pieces lying on the surface after incorporation in Year 1 of the trial with maize