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Journal of Integrative Agriculture  2019, Vol. 18 Issue (7): 1508-1517    DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(18)62148-3
Special Focus: Ecological functions of biochar Advanced Online Publication | Current Issue | Archive | Adv Search |
Understanding the biochar’s role in ameliorating soil acidity
SHI Ren-yong1, LI Jiu-yu1, NI Ni2, 3, XU Ren-kou1   
1 State Key Laboratory of Soil and Sustainable Agriculture, Institute of Soil Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008, P.R.China
2 Nanjing Institute of Environmental Science, Ministry of Ecology and Environment, Nanjing 210042, P.R.China
3 Key Laboratory of Pesticide Environmental Assessment and Pollution Control, Ministry of Ecology and Environment, Nanjing 210042, P.R.China
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Extensive acidic soils, which suffer from accelerated soil acidification, are found in southern China.  Soil acidity, aluminum toxicity, and nutrient deficiencies severely limited crop productivity in acidic soils.  It has been widely reported that crop residue biochars can ameliorate acidic soils and increase crop productivity.  Here, we summarized the positive effects and mechanisms involved in the correction of soil acidity, the alleviation of aluminum toxicity and the increase of soil pH buffering capacity by crop residue biochars.  The carbonate, oxygen-containing functional groups and silicates in biochars are the major components responsible for their efficacy in amending acidic soils and resisting soil re-acidification.  We conclude that application of crop residue biochars may be a better option than traditional liming to ameliorate acidic soils.  Nonetheless, further researches into soil acidification are still required to address some issues that are controversial and poorly understood.
Keywords:  aluminum toxicity        crop residue biochars        pH buffering capacity        soil acidity  
Received: 04 June 2018   Online: 31 October 2018   Accepted:
Fund: The study was funded by the National Key Research and Development of China (2016YFD0200302) and the National Key Basic Research Program of China (2014CB441003).
Corresponding Authors:  Correspondence XU Ren-kou, Tel: +86-25-86881183, E-mail:   
About author:  SHI Ren-yong, Tel: +86-25-86881184, E-mail:;

Cite this article: 

SHI Ren-yong, LI Jiu-yu, NI Ni, XU Ren-kou. 2019. Understanding the biochar’s role in ameliorating soil acidity. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 18(7): 1508-1517.

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