Arabian Journal of Geosciences

, 11:559 | Cite as

Potential nitrogen fixation changes under different land uses as influenced by seasons and biochar amendments

  • Agota HorelEmail author
  • Imre Potyó
  • Tibor Szili-Kovács
  • Sándor Molnár
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Implications of Biochar Application to Soil Environment under Arid Conditions


Soil nutrient dynamics, potential biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) changes, and their relations were studied using four land use types. Further, we investigated BNF changes in the presence of biochar in soils. Soil samples were collected from arable, vineyard, grassland, and forest soils during four seasons, and analyzed for abiotic contents of total nitrogen, NH4+-N, NO3-N, ammonium lactate (AL)-soluble K2O, P2O5, and soil organic carbon (SOC) concentrations. Potential N2 fixation was measured as ethylene (C2H4) production from acetylene (C2H2) reduction (ARA). The study focused on the changes in ARA when different types of biochars (T600, T650, and T700) were applied to soil samples in different amounts (0, 0.5, 2.5, and 5.0% wt wt−1) under laboratory conditions. We found strong correlations between soil chemical parameters and ARA values, especially in the case of soil pH, total N, SOC, and P2O5 contents. In the case of arable soil, the ARA measurements were up to 227 times higher compared to grassland and forest samples. Biochar application affected N2-fixing microbial responses among land use types, most notably decreases in arable lands and forest soils. We found that a high amount of biochar added to the soils can greatly suppress N2-fixing activities. Our results highlight the strong relationship between soil nutrient changes and the intensity of anthropogenic influence.


Arable BNF ARA Forest Grassland Vineyard 


Funding information

This material is based upon work supported by the Hungarian National Research Fund (OTKA/NKFI) project OTKA PD-116157. This paper was also supported by the János Bolyai Research Scholarship of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.


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Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Agota Horel
    • 1
    Email author
  • Imre Potyó
    • 1
  • Tibor Szili-Kovács
    • 1
  • Sándor Molnár
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Soil Sciences and Agricultural Chemistry, Centre for Agricultural ResearchHungarian Academy of SciencesBudapestHungary

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