Globally, mineral nitrogen (N) losses as nitrate leaching (NL) are a substantial portion of applied fertilizer and cause surface and sub-surface water contamination. To precisely measure NL and its interlink parameters, biochar soil amendment was tested in this study. Three treatments—biochar (BC), without biochar (WB) with 15N urea (300 kg/ha), and control (no fertilization)—were tested in soil-filled lysimeters (circular PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) tank of 30 cm diameter and 35 cm height) equipped with moisture content sensors and weighing assembly for the consecutive two cropping of Brassica Camprestis Var. Chinensis. The 15N-urea in the first season and the poultry manure in the second season were applied, but the fate of the 15N was examined in leachate, dry matter, and soil. As compared to WB, BC significantly decreased mineral N leaching, including nitrate levels (35%), increased electrical conductivity (68.5%), and water availability (20% inches per foot), while there was a non-significant increase in biomass per plant (2.84%), evapotranspiration (8.33%), dry matter (6.89%), and a decrease in mean leachate volume (7.63%). Moreover, BC accumulated values were higher than WB, as N uptake (38%), water use efficiency (12.24%), maximum fresh weight (11.4%), and soil N retained (185%) after cropping. The soil pH, the bulk density, and the total nitrogen were changed but presented non-significant differences. Therefore, biochar can increase soil N retention and available water to improve water use efficiency and decrease potential N leaching.
Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition