The impact of the application of compochar on soil moisture, stress, yield and nutritional properties of legumes under drought stress

Soudek P., Langhansová L., Dvořáková M., Revutska A., Petrová Š., Hirnerová A., Bouček J., Trakal L., Hošek P., Soukupová M.

Keywords: biochar, compost, been, pea, drought stress, nutraceutical properties
Abstract: Nowadays, when climate change is becoming more and more evident, drought stress plays a very important role in agriculture, for example. The Czech Republic is one of the areas that must also address this issue. The increasing number of years with extreme temperatures has a negative effect, among other things, on agricultural production. Therefore, ways to limit these negative impacts are being sought. Using kompochar to improve soil water retention can be one of them. The effect of the addition of compochar (a mixture of compost and biochar) on soil properties and crop yield was tested under conditions simulating severe drought stress (greenhouse experiments) compared to normal conditions (field experiments). The aim was to find the most suitable ratio of compochar addition that would reduce the negative effects of drought stress on the yield and quality of peas and beans. The used soil was able to retain just between 0.03 and 0.18 cm3/cm3 of water, while the compochar itself retained between 0.12 and 0.32 cm3/cm3. Three substrates with various amounts of compochar (10, 30, and 50% v/v) in soil were studied, and all three substrates showed a similar water content between 0.03 and 0.21 cm3/cm3 depending on the planted crop and week of cultivation. For the crops planted in 100% compochar, there was no apparent stress. Nevertheless, in general, the chlorophyll a/b ratio trend increased with increasing amounts of compochar in the soil, indicating stress. Yield increased by approximately 50% for both test crops when 30% compochar was used as substrate. The flavonoid content of beans was between 410 and 500 μg CE/g DW. In the case of peas, the flavonoid content was approximately 300 μg CE/g DW. The results show that the utilization of compochar had no effect on either total phenol content, flavonoid content or antioxidant capacity. The combination of compochar with soil (30%) was found to positively affect the (i) soil moisture, (ii) crop yield, and (iii) nutritional properties of peas and beans and (iv) the ability of plants to withstand drought stress.
DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2024.169914
IEB authors: Marcela Dvořáková, Petr Hošek, Lenka Langhansová, Šárka Petrová, Petr Soudek, bývalý zaměstnanec