Biochar and Nitrogen Effects on Soil Microbes in Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) Soil

Funmilayo Akintunde, Tennessee State University


Switchgrass is a warm-season C4 grass inherent to North America; it is a natural constituent of the tallgrass plain that conceals most of the great plains. The aim of the study conducted at Tennessee State University “was to find out biochar and nitrogen fertilization effect attached to the” microbial community in switchgrass soil. A two-factor randomized complete block design, which consist of three levels of nitrogen and biochar rates (0, 80, and 160 kg N·“hm-2) and (0”, 20, and 40 “t·hm-2) respectively” was used. BIOLOG (AWCD), Shannon indexes, microbial abundance by gene sequencing, and N2O emission were determined. The AWCD and Shannon index results showed a gradual increase in the microbial metabolic activities and microbial population at the addition of nitrogen treatment compared to the control. The bacterial genera Nitrosomonas, Rhizobium, Nitrobacter, Nitrospira, and Nostoc, known to be involved in the nitrogen cycle, were also identified. Pseudomonas made up 73% of the samples' entire bacterial population. They are known to potentially participate in the N2O emission process in switchgrass. During the emission, N2O flux was lower on the 7th day and before treatment, while tends to be higher towards the 30th day. This was obviously due to the longer time of treatment. There was a notable effect on the microbial community when both nitrogen fertilizer and biochar was applied in switchgrass soil. The interactive effect between nitrogen and biochar was particularly strong at their high application rates. Therefore, this study's results showed significant effect on the control of switchgrass soil.

Subject Area

Ecology|Agriculture|Biology|Soil sciences|Microbiology

Recommended Citation

Funmilayo Akintunde, "Biochar and Nitrogen Effects on Soil Microbes in Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) Soil" (2023). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI30988227.