Biochar and Other Organic Amendments Improve the Physicochemical Properties of Soil in Highly Degraded Habitat


  •   Alemayehu Getahun

  •   Diriba Muleta

  •   Fassil Assefa

  •   Solomon Kiros

  •   Mariangela Hungria


 Land degradation is an endless challenge in the world. Thus, rehabilitation with organic amendments (OAs) is an urgent priority issue. The purpose of this study is to assess the effect of biochar and other OAs application on soil physicochemical properties and growth parameters of cover crops in greenhouse. Biochar, compost and manure were used as OAs. Soil samples were collected from nine random corners of 30 cm depth and composited. In each experiment, five treatments were considered (biochar, compost, manure, mixed and control) at 1:1 ratio of OAs and soil in a pot, with completely randomized design arrangement in triplicate. The field experiment was made on completely randomized block design and each block contained five 41 x 4 m plots assigned at random within the block and separated by 1 m walkways. OAs additions increased soil pH (5.69-8.13), cation exchange capacity (43.78-49.98 cmolc/kg), organic carbon (1.41-2.46%), organic matter (2.43-3.91%), total nitrogen (0.13-0.76%), available P (18.89-28.53 ppm) and (iron, Fe, manganese, Mn, copper, Cu and zinc, Zn) in comparison to non-treated soil. Tripartite treatments had the largest effect on the biomass of cover crops with 3.43 g fivefold of the control (0.7 g) in alfalfa and 4.54 g twofold of the control (2.07 g) in grass pea p ≤ 0.05. Both in field and greenhouse experiments combination of biochar and other OAs showed a better soil fertility increment and plant growth parameters. The study concluded that there is a synergistic effect in OAs on the soil fertility restoration and plant growth performance.

Keywords: Cover Crops, Coffee Husk, Land Degradation, Rehabilitation


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Getahun, A., Muleta, D., Assefa, F., Kiros, S. and Hungria, M. 2020. Biochar and Other Organic Amendments Improve the Physicochemical Properties of Soil in Highly Degraded Habitat. European Journal of Engineering Research and Science. 5, 3 (Mar. 2020), 331-338. DOI: