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Effect of biochar application on soil water availability and hydraulic conductivity


Hardie, M and Oliver, G and Bound, S and Clothier, B and Close, D, Effect of biochar application on soil water availability and hydraulic conductivity, Proceedings of the Soil Science Australia National Soil Science Conference 2014, 23-27 November 2014, Melbourne, Australia, pp. 1-4. (2014) [Refereed Conference Paper]

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Copyright 2014 Australian Society of Soil Science Incorporated

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Biochar has been widely promoted as a means to improve a range of soil properties including water holding capacity and infiltration. In this study we investigated the effect of applying 47 Mg ha-1 Acacia green waste biochar to a sandy loam texture contrast soil in a commercial apple production system. Thirty one months after incorporation the biochar amended soil had significantly lower bulk density, higher saturated water content and higher near saturated hydraulic conductivity compared to the unamended control. However, biochar application had no significant effect on water holding capacity, field capacity, permanent wilting point, aggregate stability or infiltration at matric potentials below -0.05 kPa. This study casts doubt on the widely cited belief that biochar generally improves soil water movement and soil water holding capacity.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Conference Paper
Keywords:biochar orchard, infiltration, water holding capacity
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Agriculture, land and farm management
Research Field:Agricultural land management
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Evaluation, allocation, and impacts of land use
UTAS Author:Hardie, M (Mr Marcus Hardie)
UTAS Author:Oliver, G (Mr Garth Oliver)
UTAS Author:Bound, S (Dr Sally Bound)
UTAS Author:Close, D (Professor Dugald Close)
ID Code:98115
Year Published:2014
Deposited By:Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture
Deposited On:2015-02-02
Last Modified:2018-04-05

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