Biochar in manure can suppress water stress of sugar beet (Beta vulgaris) and increase sucrose content in tubers

Lebrun M., Bouček J., Berchová Bímová K., Kraus K., Haisel D., Kulhánek M., Omara-Ojungu C., Seyedsadr S., Beesley L., Soudek P., Petrová Š., Pohořelý M., Trakal L.

Klíčová slova: Drought, Sugar beet, Soil moisture, Biochar, Manure, Water stress response
Abstrakt: Increased soil drought events threaten the yields of sugar beet (Beta vulgaris L.) and other staples of arable production in central Europe. In this study we evaluated soil moisture and nutrients as impacted by a two and five%(wt) addition of biochar, manure and their blend to a loamy-sand Regosol. Cyclical soil drought was achieved by the controlled reduction of watering by 75% in pot experiments. Ongoing soil moisture and nutrient measurements were taken, and physiological parameters of sugar beet plants were analysed three weeks after the induced drought. At the end of the experiment (16weeks) plantswere harvested and their mass assessed, aswell as their nutrient, pigment and sugar contents. In contrast to the addition of manure, soil volumetric water contents were two to three times greater after biochar amendment, compared to the control soil. Porewater analysis revealed that nutrient leaching (e.g., NO3−, K+) from manure addition to soil was reduced when biochar was blended in (by ≤86% compared to manure alone). Crop analysis showed that leaf gas exchanges were moderated during drought following soil amendment, and leaf and tuber yields were increased furthest when combined biochar-manure blends were applied (> 2-times compared to the control). Perhapsmost importantly, the advantageous soil conditions induced by the combined biochar and manure addition also resulted in significantly increased sugar contents in plants (2.4-times) pointing to immediate practical applications of these results in the field.
DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.152772
Autoři z ÚEB: Daniel Haisel, Šárka Petrová, Petr Soudek