Does biochar accelerate the mitigation of greenhouse gaseous emissions from agricultural soil? - A global meta-analysis

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Shakoor, AwaisShakoor, Awais - ORCID ID
Arif, Muhammad Saleem
Shahzad, Sher Muhammad
Farooq, Taimoor Hassan
Ashraf, Fatima
Mohsin Altaf, Muhammad
Waqas, Ahmed
Aammar Tufail, Muhammad
Ashraf, Muhammad
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cc-by-nc-nd (c) Elsevier, 2021
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Greenhouse gaseous (GHGs) emissions from cropland soils are one of the major contributors to global warming. However, the extent and pattern of these climatic breakdowns are usally determined by the management practices in-place. The use of biochar on cropland soils holds a great promise for increasing the overall crop productivity. Nevertheless, biochar application to agricultural soils has grown in popularity as a strategy to off-set the negative feedback associated with agriculture GHGs emissions, i.e., CO2 (carbon dioxide), CH4 (methane), and N2O (nitrous oxide). Despite increasing efforts to uncover the potential of biochar to mitigate the farmland GHGs effects, there has been little synthesis of how different types of biochar affect GHGs fluxes from cropland soils under varied experimental conditions. Here, we presented a meta-analysis of the interactions between biochar and GHGs emissions across global cropland soils, with field experiments showing the strongest GHG mitigation potential, i.e. CO2 (RR = −0.108) and CH4 (RR = −0.399). The biochar pyrolysis temperature, feedstock, C: N ratio, and pH were also found to be important factors influencing GHGs emissions. A prominent reduction in N2O (RR = −0.13) and CH4 (RR = −1.035) emissions was observed in neutral soils (pH = 6.6-7.3), whereas acidic soils (pH ≤ 6.5) accounted for the strongest mitigation effect on CO2 compared to N2O and CH4 emissions. We also found that a biochar application rate of 30 t ha−1 was best for mitigating GHGs emissions while achieving optimal crop yield. According to our meta-analysis, maize crop receiving biochar amendment showed a significant mitigation potential for CO2, N2O, and CH4 emissions. On the other hand, the use of biochar had shown significant impact on the global warming potential (GWP) of total GHGs emissions. The current data synthesis takes the lead in analyzing emissions status and mitigation potential for three of the most common GHGs from cropland soils and demonstrates that biochar application can significantly reduce the emissions budget from agriculture.
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Environmental Research, 2021, vol. 202, 111789