Paper Information

Journal:   JOURNAL OF SOIL AND WATER RESOURCES CONSERVATION   WINTER 2017 , Volume 6 , Number 2; Page(s) 137 To 150.
 
Paper:  SHORT-TERM EFFECTS OF BIOCHAR PRODUCED FROM DATE PALM’S LEAVES ON MOISTURE RETENTION IN SANDY LOAM SOIL
 
Author(s):  NOUROUZI MEHRDAD, TABATABAEI SEYYED HASSAN*, NOURI MOHAMMAD REZA, MOTAGHIAN HAMID REZA
 
* DEPARTMENT OF WATER ENGINEERING, SHAHREKORD UNIVERSITY, SHAHREKORD, IRAN
 
Abstract: 

Biochar is a durable organic compound obtained by thermal decomposition of biomass under oxygen-limited conditions (called pyrolysis). It is used for improving chemical and physical properties of soil in agriculture. The main objective of this paper was to evaluate the effects of biochar, produced from date palm’s leaves, on the physical properties and hydrological behavior of a sandy loam soil by carrying out a pot experiment. Pyrolyzed at different temperatures (300, 350, 400, 450 and 500 degree of centigrade) in an electric furnace five biochars were obtained. Biochars were in powdered form and evenly added to soil (air-dried and passed through a 2 mm sieve) at the rate of 3% (w/w) and incubated for 2 months. Water retention curves (WRCs) based on Van Genuchten model determined. By measuring gravimetric water content at field capacity (FC) and permanent wilting point (PWP), plant available water content (PAWC) calculated. Also, water holding capacity (WHC) and saturation percentage (qs) determined. The results showed that by increasing pyrolysis temperature from 300 to 500 degree of centigrade, physical properties and hydrological behavior of the soil had not significant changes. Generally, soil bulk density (BD) significantly (P<0.01) decreased compared to control, which could be attributed to low density of biochar particles and its contribution on rearrangement of soil pores and creation of new accommodation pores. WHC, PAWC, qs and FC increased 24.4%, 20.1%, 23.4% and 24% respectively compared to control, but PWP had not significant changes. Data of WRCs indicated a significant (P<0.01) increase in pores greater than 0.2 mm, which are important in storing plant available water.

 
Keyword(s): BIOCHAR, PLANT AVAILABLE WATER, SOIL STRUCTURE, WATER HOLDING CAPACITY