Impact of wood-derived biochar on the hydraulic characteristics of compacted soils: Its influence on simulated farmland carbon sequestration
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Department of Bioresource Engineering, McGill University, Macdonald Stewart Building 21, 111 Lakeshore road, Saint-Anne-De-Bellevue, Quebec, Canada H9X 3V9
Final revision date: 2021-04-01
Acceptance date: 2021-04-19
Publication date: 2021-06-15
Corresponding author
Ahmed Ahmed   

Bioresource, McGill University, Canada
Int. Agrophys. 2021, 35(2): 167-177
  • Biochar amendment increased the total porosity of sandy loam soil, whereas water flow decreased.
  • Biochar particle size amendment has a different effect on hydraulic characteristics of texturally different soils.
  • Carbon sequestration in simulated farmland increased with biochar amended soils.
The addition of biochar is often proposed to increase agricultural soil quality and crop yield, while at the same time sequestering carbon from the atmosphere to help mitigate global climate change. In this research, the pore-size distribution, and saturated hydraulic conductivity of sandy loam and clay loam soils amended with varying dosages (0-10% dry basis) and two different particle sizes (0.5-420 µm (PS1) or 421-841 µm (PS2)) of wood-derived biochar were investigated under compacted conditions (5, 10, or 15 standard Proctor rammer blows (5B, 10B, or 15B, respectively)). In the 5B compacted SL (SL-5B) soil, the volume of the soil fissures and transmission pores decreased, while the volume of the storage pores (SP) increased with increasing wood-derived biochar dosage. 23.1±0.9% of the volume of the 5B compacted clay loam (CL-5B) are storage pores, this value increased to 27.4±2.0% upon amendment with 10% PS1. The saturated hydraulic conductivity of the sandy loam-5B soil amended with 10% PS1 decreased from 6.8±0.3 to 0.80±0.03 mm h-1. The sandy loam farmland C emissions decreased by 0.071 tC ha-1 y-1, whereas CL farmland C emissions decreased by 0.091 tC ha-1 y-1.
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