Comparing the potentials of clay and biochar in improving water retention and mechanical resilience of sandy soil

Ajayi, A. E. and Horn, Rainer (2016) Comparing the potentials of clay and biochar in improving water retention and mechanical resilience of sandy soil International Agrophysics, 30 (4). pp. 391-399. DOI 10.1515/intag-2016-0009.

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Abstract

Changing climate is threatening rainfall regularity particularly in the semi-arid and arid regions; therefore, strategies to conserve water within their coarse-grained soils and to improve water use efficiency of crops are critical. This study compared the effectiveness of biochar and two types of clay materials in augmenting water retention and improving mechanical resilience of fine sand. The amendment of fine sand with woodchip-biochar and kaolinite (non-swelling clay) and Na-bentonite (swelling clay) improved the water retention capacity and interparticle bonding of the substrate depending of the rate of amendment and water content of the substrates. Na-bentonite was more effective at in-creasing water retention capacity at more negative matric potentials. Biochar was more effective at saturation due to the increased porosity, while kaolinite responds similarly to biochar. It is, however, shown that most of the water retained by the Na-betonite may not be available to plants, particularly at high amendment rate. Furthermore, the clay and biochar materials improved particle bonding in the fine sand with the Na-bentonite being more effective than biochar and kaolinite (in that order) in strengthening interparticle bonds and improving the resilience of fine sand, if the rate of amendment is kept at <= 50 g kg(-1).

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: Times Cited: 0 Ajayi, Ayodele Ebenezer Horn, Rainer
Research affiliation: Kiel University > Faculty of Agricultural and Nutritional Sciences
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1515/intag-2016-0009
ISSN: 0236-8722
Date Deposited: 26 Feb 2017 11:16
Last Modified: 26 Feb 2017 11:16
URI: http://eprints.uni-kiel.de/id/eprint/35991

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