Localisation of nitrate in the rhizosphere of biochar-amended soils

Miranda T. Prendergast-Miller, Michael Duvall, Saran P. Sohi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A wheat seedling rhizobox approach was used to differentiate between the rhizosphere and non-rhizosphere (bulk) soil amended with low and high rates of biochar (20 and 60 t ha(-1) vs. control). Nitrate (NO3-) was added as the main nitrogen (N) source because emerging biochar research points to reduced NO3- loss through leaching and gaseous loss as nitrous oxide. The rhizosphere under the different treatments were distinct (P = 0.021), with greater soil-NO3- and biochar-NO3- contents in the high biochar treatment. Biochar addition increased wheat root length ratio (P = 0.053) and lowered root N uptake (P = 0.017), yet plant biomass and N content were similar between treatments. The results indicate localisation of NO3- within the rhizosphere of biochar-amended soils which has implications for No-3(-) loss and improved nitrogen use efficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2243-2246
Number of pages4
JournalSoil Biology and Biochemistry
Issue number11
Early online date4 Aug 2011
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2011


  • Biochar
  • Nitrate
  • Plant root architecture
  • Charcoal
  • Rhizosphere
  • Rhizobox
  • Nutrient availability


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