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Nutrient changes in potting mix and Eucalyptus nitens leaf tissue under macadamia biochar amendments


Wrobel-Tobiszewska, A and Boersma, M and Sargison, J and Adams, P and Singh, B and Franks, S and Birch, CJ and Close, DC, Nutrient changes in potting mix and Eucalyptus nitens leaf tissue under macadamia biochar amendments, Journal of Forestry Research, 29, (2) pp. 383-393. ISSN 1007-662X (2018) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2017 Northeast Forestry University and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany

DOI: doi:10.1007/s11676-017-0437-0


The effect of macadamia nut shell biochar on nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium and sodium concentrations in potting mix used to grow Eucalyptus nitens seedlings was investigated in a glasshouse experiment. The treatments combined two fertiliser rates (50 and 100% rate of the commercial mix commonly used in forestry nurseries) with eight biochar rates (0, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 80 and 100 t ha-1) arranged in a randomised complete block with three replicates of four sample plants. Nutrients were quantified in the potting mix and seedling leaves at four destructive harvests 135, 177, 219 and 269 days after planting. Biochar significantly increased nitrate-N, Colwell P, Colwell K and exchangeable Na and reduced ammonium-N, Mg and Ca concentrations in the potting mix. Seedling leaf concentrations of P, K and Na were increased by biochar application, while N remained dependent on fertiliser rate only. Mg and Ca leaf concentrations decreased in response to increasing biochar rates. Elevated nitrate-N and decreased ammonium-N concentrations suggest that biochar might have increased nitrification in the potting mix. We presumed that biochar mediated processes that reduced uptake of P and K when high doses of biochar were combined with full fertilisation. Changes in potting mix K, Na, Mg and Ca were consistent with selective adsorption of ions to biochar surfaces.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:charcoal, forest plantation, plant nutrition, seedlings, soil chemistry
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Plant biology
Research Field:Plant physiology
Objective Division:Plant Production and Plant Primary Products
Objective Group:Forestry
Objective Field:Forestry not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Wrobel-Tobiszewska, A (Ms Anna Wrobel-Tobiszewska)
UTAS Author:Boersma, M (Dr Mark Boersma)
UTAS Author:Franks, S (Professor Stewart Franks)
UTAS Author:Birch, CJ (Associate Professor Colin Birch)
UTAS Author:Close, DC (Professor Dugald Close)
ID Code:118210
Year Published:2018 (online first 2017)
Web of Science® Times Cited:11
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:2017-07-06
Last Modified:2018-07-13

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