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Impact of compost, vermicompost and biochar on soil fertility, maize yield and soil erosion in Northern Vietnam: A three year mesocosm experiment

Abstract : Compost, vermicompost and biochar amendments are thought to improve soil quality and plant yield. However, little is known about their long-term impact on crop yield and the environment in tropical agro-ecosystems. In this study we investigated the effect of organic amendments (buffalo manure, compost and verrnicompost) and biochar (applied alone or with vermicompost) on plant yield, soil fertility, soil erosion and water dynamics in a degraded Acrisol in Vietnam. Maize growth and yield, as well as weed growth, were examined for three years in terrestrial mesocosms under natural rainfall. Maize yield and growth showed high inter-annual variability depending on the organic amendment. Vermicompost improved maize growth and yield but its effect was rather small and was only significant when water availability was limited (year 2). This suggests that vermicompost could be a promising substrate for improving the resistance of agrosystems to water stress. When the vermicompost biochar mixture was applied, further growth and yield improvements were recorded in some cases. When applied alone, biochar had a positive influence on maize yield and growth, thus confirming its interest for improving long-term soil productivity. All organic amendments reduced water runoff, soil detachment and NH4+ and NO3- transfer to water. These effects were more significant with vermicompost than with buffalo manure and compost, highlighting that the beneficial influence of vermicompost is not limited to its influence on plant yield. In addition, this study showed for the first time that the combination of vermicompost and biochar may not only improve plant productivity but also reduce the negative impact of agriculture on water quality.
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Submitted on : Thursday, May 28, 2020 - 3:53:07 PM
Last modification on : Friday, June 12, 2020 - 10:43:26 AM

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Thuy Thu Doan, Thierry Henry-Des-Tureaux, Cornelia Rumpel, Jean-Louis Janeau, Pascal Jouquet. Impact of compost, vermicompost and biochar on soil fertility, maize yield and soil erosion in Northern Vietnam: A three year mesocosm experiment. Science of the Total Environment, Elsevier, 2015, 514, pp.147-154. ⟨10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.02.005⟩. ⟨hal-02640983⟩

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