Time-dependent impact of co-matured manure with elemental sulfur and biochar on the soil agro-ecological properties and plant biomass

Sci Rep. 2023 Mar 15;13(1):4327. doi: 10.1038/s41598-023-31348-7.


Farmyard manure is the most common type of organic fertilizer, and its properties depend mainly on the type of livestock, bedding material and the conditions of fermentation. Co-maturing of manure with other amendments to modify its final properties has been seen as a win-win strategy recently. This study aimed to evaluate the differences in the effect of unenriched manure and manures co-matured with biochar, elemental sulfur or both amendments on the soil physico-chemical and biological properties, and plant (barley, maize) biomass production. For this purpose a pot experiment was carried out in a time-dependent way. Samples were taken from 12 week-lasting (test crop barley) and 24 week-lasting (test crop maize) pot cultivation carried out in a growth chamber. Co-matured manure with biochar showed the highest rate of maturation expressed as humic to fulvic acid ratio, its amendment to soil significantly increased the dry aboveground biomass weight in the half-time (12 weeks) of experiment. However, the effect vanished after 24 weeks. We received for this variant highest long-term (24 weeks) contents of total carbon and nitrogen in soil. Contrarily, co-matured manure with biochar and elemental sulfur led to short-term carbon sequestration (the highest total carbon in 12 weeks) due to presumed retardation of microbial-mediated transformation of nutrients. We conclude that the prolonged pot experiment with biochar or elemental sulfur enriched manure led to the increased recalcitrancy of soil organic matter and retardation of soil nutrient transformation to the plant-available form.

PMID:36922558 | DOI:10.1038/s41598-023-31348-7


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