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Biochar Mitigates Salinity Stress in Potato

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A pot experiment was conducted in a climate-controlled greenhouse to investigate the growth, physiology and yield of potato in response to salinity stress under biochar amendment. It was hypothesized that addition of biochar may improve plant growth and yield by mitigating the negative effect of salinity through its high sorption ability. From tuber bulking to harvesting, the plants were exposed to three saline irrigations, that is 0, 25 and 50 mm NaCl solutions, respectively, and two levels of biochar (0 % and 5 % W/W) treatments. An adsorption study was also conducted to study the Na+ adsorption capability of biochar. Results indicated that biochar was capable to ameliorate salinity stress by adsorbing Na+. Increasing salinity level resulted in significant reductions of shoot biomass, root length and volume, tuber yield, photosynthetic rate (An), stomatal conductance (gs), midday leaf water potential, but increased abscisic acid (ABA) concentration in both leaf and xylem sap. At each salinity level, incorporation of biochar increased shoot biomass, root length and volume, tuber yield, An, gs, midday leaf water potential, and decreased ABA concentration in the leaf and xylem sap as compared with the respective non-biochar control. Decreased Na+, Na+/K+ ratio and increased K+ content in xylem with biochar amendment also indicated its ameliorative effects on potato plants in response to salinity stress. The results suggested that incorporation of biochar might be a promising approach for enhancing crop productivity in salt-affected soils.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Agronomy and Crop Science
Pages (from-to)368-378
Publication statusPublished - 2015

    Research areas

  • Adsorption, biochar, growth, physiology, sodium, yield

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