Journal of Ecology and Rural Environment ›› 2016, Vol. 32 ›› Issue (1): 53-59.doi: 10.11934/j.issn.1673-4831.2016.01.010

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A Review of Researches on Effects of Biochars on Soil Microorganisms

RAO Shuang, LU Yang, HUANG Fei, CAI Yi-xia, CAI Kun-zheng   

  1. School of Resources and Environment, South China Agricultural University/Key Laboratory of Tropical Agro-Environment, Ministry of Agriculture, Guangzhou 510642, China
  • Received:2015-06-11 Online:2016-01-25 Published:2016-01-27


Biochar is a product of thermal degradation of organic materials in the absence of air(pyrolysis), and is distinguished from charcoal by its use as a soil amendment. In recent years, biochar has been attracting more and more attention worldwide because of its great potential for carbon sequestration, soil amelioration and higher crop yield. As a new type of soil amendment, biochar can increase soil organic carbon content, cation exchange capacity and soil water-holding capacity, which are beneficial to microbial activity. Moreover, biochar can also adsorb toxic allelopathic substances in soil and provide a favorable habitat for microorganism. But the effects depend on biochar properties, application rates, soil types and soil fertility. Effects of type of parent material and pyrolysis temperature on physicochemical properties of biochar and effects of the biochars on abundance, community structure and activity of the soil microbes in the soil were generalized. It is recommended that future studies should go further in depth on biochar properties, interaction between biochar and soil microbes and effects of biochar remedying the environment so as to evaluate objectively the effects of biochar amendment on soil microbes.

Key words: biochar, soil, microbial abundance, microbial community structure, microbial activity

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