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Cui, L., Yan, J., Yang, Y., Li, L., Quan, G., Ding, C., Chen, T., Fu, Q., and Chang, A. (2013). "Influence of biochar on microbial activities of heavy metals contaminated paddy fields," BioRes. 8(4), 5536-5548.

Abstract

Biochar (BC) amendments might decrease the bioavailability of metals in soils that are contaminated with heavy metals. In general, soil microbial communities are sensitive to changes in soil property changes. Microbial communities were tested in a Cd- and Pb-polluted paddy field in southern China. BC was applied as a basal soil amendment before rice transplantation in 2009. The BC was applied at rates of 0, 10, 20, and 40 tons per hectare. Soil heavy metal fractions with sequential extraction procedure, soil microorganisms, and enzymes were monitored in 2011. The soil pH and soil organic carbon (SOC) were significantly increased by 2% to 5% and 16% to 51% under BC amendment, respectively. Compared to the non-BC treatment, the cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb) acid-soluble fraction concentrations were significantly decreased by 15.3% to 26.7% and 18.2% to 30.9%. The Cd and Pb reducible fraction were decreased by 13.5% to 25.6% and 21.9% to 23.53%.The Cd and Pb oxidizable fraction by 15.4% to 69.2% and 22.7% to 29.3% with BC application, respectively. The populations of actinomycetes and fungi were increased by 19.0% to 38.5% and 3.7 to 9.3 times, respectively. Meanwhile, BC significantly increased the cellulose, urine enzyme, neutral phosphatase, and sucrase activities by 117.4% to 178.3%, 31.1% to 37.6%, 29.7% to 193.8%, and 36.5% to 328.6%, respectively. BC amendment offers a basic option to reduce Cd and Pb bioavailability and change the fractions. The BC also increases microorganism quantity and soil enzyme activity.
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