عنوان مقاله [English]
Background and objectives: Phosphorus (P) is one of the most important components and a limiting factor for the growth of plants due to its low mobility and availability in soil. Application of organic materials such as biochar is one of the main choices to increase the availability of P in soil. Biochar is a carbon-rich material derived from pyrolysis of organic feedstocks under limited or no oxygen conditions. Biochar can influence the availability of P by improving the physicochemical, biological, and enzymatic conditions of soil, in addition to directly increasing the concentration of nutritional elements, particularly P. Soil pollution by heavy metals such as Cadmium (Cd) has been one of the environmental concerns in the last several decades. Cadmium alters the activity and diversity of soil microbial communities, and it also lessens soil function by decreasing the activity of enzymes related to nutrient cycling. Application of organic materials such as biochar in contaminated soil can reduce the availability of heavy metals in the soil, and as a result, increase the biological properties. It is hypothesized that application of biochar in heavy metal-contaminated soil influences the availability of P not only directly but also indirectly by improving microbial and enzymatic activity. This issue depends on the type of biochar and soil. Therefore, this study was conducted to investigate the interaction effect of biochar (cow manure and wheat straw) and Cd on microbial respiration, acid and alkaline phosphatase activity and available P in two soils with different physicochemical characteristics.
Materials and methods: A factorial experiment was conducted using a completely randomized design with three replicates. The experimental factors included 4 levels of Cd contamination (0, 5, 10 and 20 mg kg-1), 3 levels of biochar (control, wheat straw and cattle manure biochar) and 2 types of soil (corck sofla and research center). Two types of soil contaminated with different amounts of Cd from CdCl2, were amended with 2.5% of the biochar, then were incubated for 14 and 90 days at laboratory temperature and 70% field capacity. At the end of each incubation time, available Cd and P, basal respiration and acid and alkaline phosphatase activity were measured.
Results: The application of cattle manure and wheat straw biochar in soil reduced the available Cd by 70-86% and 61-85%, respectively. At all levels of Cd contamination, the amount of available Cd in the research center soil with sandy loam texture was higher than that of the Kark Sefala soil with clay texture. Higher concentrations of Cd also reduced the microbial respiration and the enzyme activities in the research center (31-46%) more than in the corck sofla (21.5-35.5%) soil. The decrease in microbial respiration and enzyme activities due to Cd contamination in the soil without biochar (10-41.5%) was more than the soil amended with wheat straw (5-39.8%) and cow manure (0.8-37.9%) biochar. The results also showed that available P increased with biochar addition and decreased with increasing Cd concentration in soil, so that the highest amount of available P was observed in the soil amended with cow manure biochar and without Cd contamination. Positive and significant correlation between available P with microbial respiration (r=0.385-0.604), alkaline (r=0.764-0.879) and acid (r=0.761-0.883) phosphatase activity was obtained, indicating that microbial activity and the enzymes involved in P cycling, play a significant role in the availability of P in the soil.
Conclusion: These findings indicated that the application of biochar in Cd-contaminated soils can increase the bioavailability of P in the soil by decreasing the availaility of Cd and increasing microbial activity and alkaline and acid phosphatase activity. This issue was affected by the biochar and soil type.