Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)
Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2013

Phosphorus availability in soils amended with wheat residue char

Parvage, Masud; Ulen, Barbro; Eriksson, Jan; Strock, Jeffrey; Strock, Jeffery; Kirchmann, Holger


Plant availability and risk for leaching and/or runoff losses of phosphorus (P) from soils depend among others on P concentration in the soil solution. Water-soluble P in soil measures soil solution P concentration. The aim of this study was to understand the effect of wheat residue char (biochar) addition on water-soluble P concentration in a wide range of biochar-amended soils. Eleven agricultural fields representing dominant soil texture classes of Swedish agricultural lands were chosen. Concentrations of water-soluble P in the soils and in biochar were measured prior to biochar incorporation to soils in the laboratory. Experiments with three dominant soil textures-silt loam, clay loam, and an intermediate loam soil with different rates of biochar addition (i.e., 0.5, 1, 2, and 4 %; w/w) showed that the highest concentration of water-soluble P was achieved at an application rate of 1 %. At higher application rates, P concentrations decreased which coincided with a pH increase of 0.3-0.7 units. When the 11 soils were amended with 1 % (w/w) biochar, water-soluble P concentrations increased in most of the soils ranging from 11 to 253 %. However, much of the water-soluble P added through the biochar was retained (33-100 %). We concluded that wheat residue char can act as a source of soluble P, and low and high additions of biochar can have different effects on soil solution P concentration due to possible reactions with Ca and Mg added with biochar.


Biochar; Water-soluble phosphorus; Phosphorus saturation; Phosphorus retention; Clay soils; Sandy soils

Published in

Biology and Fertility of Soils
2013, Volume: 49, number: 2, pages: 245-250
Publisher: SPRINGER