3 years ago

Enhanced growth of halophyte plants in biochar-amended coastal soil: roles of nutrient availability and rhizosphere microbial modulation

Baoshan Xing, Xianxiang Luo, Hefang Wang, Zhenyu Wang, Lei Chen, Yang Xia, Xiao Wang, Yipeng Zhang, Hao Zheng
Soil health is essential and irreplaceable for plant growth and global food production, which has been threatened by climate change and soil degradation. Degraded coastal soils are urgently required to reclaim using new sustainable technologies. Interest in applying biochar to improve soil health and promote crop yield has rapidly increased because of its multiple benefits. However, effects of biochar addition on the saline–sodic coastal soil health and halophyte growth were poorly understood. Response of two halophytes, Sesbania (Sesbania cannabina) and Seashore mallow (Kosteletzkya virginica), to the individual or co-application of biochar and inorganic fertilizer into a coastal soil was investigated using a 52 d pot experiment. The biochar alone or co-application stimulated the plant growth (germination, root development, and biomass), primarily attributed to the enhanced nutrient availability from the biochar-improved soil health. Additionally, the promoted microbial activities and bacterial community shift towards the beneficial taxa (e.g. Pseudomonas and Bacillus) in the rhizosphere also contributed to the enhanced plant growth and biomass. Our findings showed the promising significance because biochar added at an optimal level (≤5%) could be a feasible option to reclaim the degraded coastal soil, enhance plant growth and production, and increase soil health and food security.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/pce.12944

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