Rapid response of soil GHG emissions and microbial parameters to the addition of biochar and the freeze-thaw cycle
Chunsheng Hu 2,3,4
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Institute of Agrophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Doświadczalna 4, 20-290 Lublin, Poland
Key Laboratory of Agricultural Water Resources, Hebei Key Laboratory of Soil Ecology, Center for Agricultural Resources Research, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 286 Huaizhong Road, Shijiazhuang 050021, China
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, No. 19 (A) Yuquan Road, Shijingshan District, Beijing 100049, China
Xiong’an Institute of Innovation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiong’an New Area 071700, China
Final revision date: 2023-08-07
Acceptance date: 2023-08-21
Publication date: 2023-09-13
Corresponding author
Anna Walkiewicz   

Department of Natural Environment Biogeochemistry, Institute of Agrophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland
Int. Agrophys. 2023, 37(3): 341–352
  • Thawing soil emitted GHGs pulse in the period of the fast temperature growth.
  • After temperature stabilization GHG rate reached the amount as without freezing.
  • Biochar increased CH4 and N2O peak in thawing soil but didn’t affect CO2.
  • Biochar application improved soil conditions as shown by microbial parameters.
  • Physical and biological mechanisms participate in GHG emissions during thawing.
A reduction in snow cover makes soil more ex-posed to freezing-thawing processes. We tested the rapid response of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in fertilized soil to biochar addition under the freeze-thaw cycle. The soil (at a moisture of 55% water holding capacity) was enriched with biochar at a rate of 20 t ha-1, frozen at -20°C for 12 h and thawed at 20°C. The control was soil without biochar and with biochar incubated at temperature of 20°C. Unfrozen soil was a CO2 and N2O source and a weak sink for CH4. The GHG fluxes were not significantly altered by biochar, although biochar-treated soil emitted CH4. The frozen soil emitted all the tested GHGs during the thawing period. A pulse of CO2 and CH4 emissions (and N2O in soil with biochar) occurred in the period of rapid temperature growth, while GHG fluxes reached levels similar to unfrozen soil after temperature stabilization at 20°C. In frozen soil, the addition of biochar significantly increased the CH4 and N2O peak only in the first phase of thawing with a dynamic temperature growth. Biochar changed microbial parameters, therefore we assume that both physical and biological mechanisms could be responsible for GHG emissions in frozen soils.
This work was funded by the Polish National Centre for Research and Development within the ReLive project (CIRCULARITY/61/ReLive/2022; the authors acknowledge the financial support through the partners of the Joint Call of the Cofund ERA-Nets SusCrop (grant no. 771134), FACCE ERA-GAS (grant no. 696356), ICT-AGRI-FOOD (grant no. 862665) and SusAn (grant no. 696231)), and the Special Exchange Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences (Class A).
The Authors declare they have no conflict of interest.
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