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Research article2023Peer reviewedOpen access

Improving Phosphorus Availability and Wheat Yield in Saline Soil of the Lake Urmia Basin through Enriched Biochar and Microbial Inoculation

Mousavi, Roghayeh; Rasouli-Sadaghiani, MirHassan; Sepehr, Ebrahim; Barin, Mohsen; Vetukuri, Ramesh Raju


To reduce requirements for conventional chemical fertilizer and alleviate salinity stress in soils, a glasshouse experiment was conducted to assess the effects of enriched biochar on phosphatase activity, microbial respiration and wheat yield in non-saline and saline soils from the Lake Urmia basin (electrical conductivities 2 dS.m(-1) and 15 dS.m(-1), respectively). Nine treatments were tested: control, 1:1 mixture of apple and grape biochars (BC), phosphate solubilizing bacteria (PSB), BC plus PSB (BC-PSB), BC plus rock phosphate (BC-RP), BC enriched by rock phosphate and bacteria (BC-RP-PSB), BC enriched by rock phosphate and HCl (BC-RP-HCl) or H3PO4 (BC-RP-H3PO4) and chemical fertilizer (TSP). The addition of enriched biochar decreased the soil pH (by 0.5-0.9 units) and increased available phosphorus (>7-fold). In both the saline and non-saline soils, the highest alkaline phosphatase activity was obtained for BC-H3PO4-RP and BC-HCl-RP. Wheat growth parameters were reclaimed after enriched biochar application, indicating superior dry matter yields compared to the control and non-enriched biochar treatments and significantly higher yields compared to TSP. Beneficial effects on soil pH, phosphatase activity, soil respiration and biomass yield demonstrated that enriched biochar could partly substitute chemical fertilizers and increase plant growth in salt stress conditions. However, further field studies are needed to understand the benefits of enriched biochar in different soils and climates.


agricultural residue; enriched biochar; soil enzyme; salt-affected soil; wheat fertilization

Published in

2023, Volume: 13, number: 4, article number: 805
Publisher: MDPI

    Associated SLU-program

    SLU Plant Protection Network

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Soil Science

    Publication identifier


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