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Research article2023Peer reviewedOpen access

Soil amendment with biochar and manure alters wood stake decomposition and fungal community composition

Zhao, Ruirui; Liu, Yong; Gundale, Michael J.


Biochar and manure can be used for sustainable land management. However, little is known about how soil amendments might affect surface and belowground microbial processes and subsequent wood decomposition. In a split-split-split plot design, we amended soil with two rates of manure (whole plot; 0 and 9 Mg ha(-1)) and biochar (split plot; 0 and 10 Mg ha(-1)). Wood stakes of three species (hybrid poplar, triploid Populus tomentosa Carr.; aspen, Populus tremuloides Michx.; and pine, Pinus taeda L.) were placed in two positions (horizontally on the soil surface, and inserted vertically in the mineral soil), which served as a substrate for fungal growth. In 3 years, the decomposition rate (density loss), moisture content, and fungal community (via high-throughput sequencing methods) of stakes were evaluated. Results indicated that biochar and/or manure increased the wood stake decomposition rates, moisture content, and operational taxonomic unit abundance. However, the richness and diversity of fungi were dependent on wood stake position (surface > mineral), species (pine > the two Populus), and sample dates. This study highlights that soil amendment with biochar and/or manure can alter the fungal community, which in turn can enhance an important soil process (i.e., decomposition).


organic fertilizer; soil process; wood-colonizing fungal community

Published in

GCB Bioenergy
2023, Volume: 15, number: 9, pages: 1166-1185 Publisher: WILEY

    Associated SLU-program

    SLU Plant Protection Network

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Soil Science

    Publication identifier


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