Impact of biochar addition to soil on greenhouse gas emissions following pig manure application
Troy, Shane M.
O' Flynn, Cornelius J.
Healy, Mark G.
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Shane M. Troy, Peadar G. Lawlor, Cornelius J. O Flynn and Mark G. Healy (2013) 'Impact of biochar addition to soil on greenhouse gas emissions following pig manure application'. Soil Biology & Biochemistry, .
The application of biochar produced from wood and crop residues, such as sawdust, straw, sugar bagasse and rice hulls, to highly weathered soils under tropical conditions has been shown to influence soil greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. However, there is a lack of data concerning GHG emissions from soils amended with biochar derived from manure, and from soils outside tropical and subtropical regions. The objective of this study was to quantify the effect on emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide (N2O) and methane (CH4) following the addition, at a rate of 18 t ha-1, of two different types of biochar to an Irish tillage soil. A soil column experiment was designed to compare three treatments (n=8): (1) non-amended soil (2) soil mixed with biochar derived from the separated solid fraction of anaerobically digested pig manure and (3) soil mixed with biochar derived from Sitka Spruce (Picea sitchensis). The soil columns were incubated at 10 oC and 75 % relative humidity, and leached with 80 mL distilled water, twice per week. Following 10 weeks of incubation, pig manure, equivalent to 170 kg nitrogen ha-1 and 36 kg phosphorus ha-1, was applied to half of the columns in each treatment (n=4). Gaseous emissions were analysed for 28 days following manure application. Biochar addition to the soil increased N2O emissions in the pig manure-amended column, most likely as a result of increased denitrification caused by higher water filled pore space and organic carbon (C) contents. Biochar addition to soil also increased CO2 emissions. This was caused by increased rates of C mineralisation in these columns, either due to mineralisation of the labile C added with the biochar, or through increased mineralisation of the soil organic matter.