Arabian Journal of Geosciences

, 12:591 | Cite as

Impact of biochar prepared from leaves of Populous euphratica on soil microbial activity and mung bean (Vigna radiata) growth

  • Muhammad AkmalEmail author
  • Tanveer Ahmed Gondal
  • Khalid Saifullah Khan
  • Qaiser Hussain
  • Mukhtar Ahmad
  • Muhammad Subtain Abbas
  • Hafeez Ullah Rafa
  • Shahab Ahmad Khosa
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Implications of Biochar Application to Soil Environment under Arid Conditions


In Pakistan, a lot of waste is generated from the falling leaves of Populous trees every season and dumped as unused waste material. A study was conducted at Pir Mehr Ali Shah-Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi, Pakistan, to investigate the effect of biochar prepared from populous trees on soil microbial biomass, soil enzymes activity, microbial population, and growth of mung bean. Biochar was prepared from leaves of Populous euphratica at 350 °C for 3 h. Eighteen plastic pots were filled with 5.0-kg soil in each to accommodate six treatments with three replications. The treatments were biochar at 50 g kg−1, N at 0.0216 g kg−1, P at 0.0652 g kg−1, biochar (50 g kg−1) plus N (0.0216 g kg−1), biochar (50 g kg−1) plus P (0.0652 g kg−1), and control (no application). Mung bean (Vigna radiata) plants were grown in each pot for 60 days. Soil samples were collected at crop maturity and analyzed for microbial indices like enzymatic activity and microbial population, and plant nutrients. The results indicated that highest microbial biomass carbon (MBC) was observed in biochar + phosphorus (BC + P) treatment which was 65% higher than control. Similarly, highest microbial biomass nitrogen (MBN) was observed in BC + N treatment which was 38% higher than control. For enzyme urease and alkaline phosphatase, highest activity was observed in treatment BC + N and BC + P respectively, which was 4% and 24% higher than control. Highest population of bacteria, fungi, and actinomycetes was observed in treatment where biochar and BC + P were applied, respectively. The study concluded that biochar prepared from populous leaves can be used effectively along with N and P fertilizers to improve microbial activity of soil and consequently crop growth.


Soil Biochar Populous leaves Microorganism Mung beans 


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Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Muhammad Akmal
    • 1
    Email author
  • Tanveer Ahmed Gondal
    • 1
  • Khalid Saifullah Khan
    • 1
  • Qaiser Hussain
    • 1
  • Mukhtar Ahmad
    • 2
  • Muhammad Subtain Abbas
    • 1
  • Hafeez Ullah Rafa
    • 1
  • Shahab Ahmad Khosa
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Soil SciencePMAS-Arid Agriculture University RawalpindiRawalpindiPakistan
  2. 2.Department of AgronomyPMAS-Arid Agriculture University RawalpindiRawalpindiPakistan

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