Response of ammonia volatilization to biochar addition: A meta-analysis

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Sha, Z., Li, Q., Lv, T., Misselbrook, T. H. and Liu, X. 2019. Response of ammonia volatilization to biochar addition: A meta-analysis. Science of the Total Environment. 655 (10), pp. 1387-1396.

AuthorsSha, Z., Li, Q., Lv, T., Misselbrook, T. H. and Liu, X.

There has been increasing interest in and use of biochar as a soil amendment. However, the effects of biochar addition on ammonia volatilization (AV) appeared contradictory from the many reported studies and the main influencing factors remain unclear. Here, we conducted a comprehensive meta-analysis of 41 published articles with 144 observations to reveal the effects of biochar addition on AV and used a boosted regression tree modelling approach to further interpret the contribution of biochar characteristics, soil properties and experimental conditions to this process. On average, biochar addition did not impact on AV, but this varied greatly under different soil, biochar and experimental conditions. The pH of soil and biochar were important factors impacting AV. Biochar application to acidic soil could stimulate AV, and addition of biochar with a high pH and at a low application rate also showed the same trend. In contrast, combining biochar with urea or organic fertilizer, or using wood-based or acidified biochar at appropriate rates had benefits in reducing AV. These findings have major implications for biochar management strategies in agricultural systems, where an important consideration is the mitigation of potentially detrimental environmental consequences.

KeywordsAmmonia volatilization; Meta-analysis; Boosted regression tree model; Biochar characteristics; Soil properties; Experimental conditions
Year of Publication2019
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Journal citation655 (10), pp. 1387-1396
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Web address (URL)
Open accessPublished as non-open access
FunderBBSRC Newton funding
Funder project or codeUK - China Virtual Joint Centre for Improved Nitrogen Agronomy (CINAG)
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online22 Nov 2018
Publication process dates
Accepted21 Nov 2018
PublisherElsevier Science Bv

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