Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 26, pp 25813–25821 | Cite as

Effect of biochar derived from barley straw on soil physicochemical properties, crop growth, and nitrous oxide emission in an upland field in South Korea

  • Se-Won Kang
  • Seong-Heon Kim
  • Jong-Hwan Park
  • Dong-Cheol Seo
  • Yong Sik Ok
  • Ju-Sik Cho
Environmental functions of biochar


This study was conducted to investigate soil quality, Chinese cabbage growth, and N2O emission after biochar application in an upland field in South Korea. Each of the barley straw biochar (BC, applied at 10 ton ha−1), inorganic fertilizer (IF, applied at N-P-K = 320–78–198 kg ha−1), and BC + IF treatment areas were separated by a control (Cn) treatment area. Soils treated with BC and BC + IF treatments had lower bulk density and higher porosity than those in the Cn treatment areas. Soil chemical properties (pH, TN, Avail. P2O5, and CEC) after biochar addition were improved. In particular, soil pH and CEC related to crop nutrient availability were significantly increased in BC areas compared to those in Cn and IF areas. Fresh weights of Chinese cabbage grown under BC, IF, and BC + IF treatment conditions increased by 64.9, 78.4, and 112.0%, respectively, over that in the Cn treatment area. Total nutrient (TN, TP, and K) uptakes among the treatment areas were, in declining order, BC + IF (14.51 g plant−1) > IF > BC > Cn. More interestingly, the BC application had a positive effect on growth of Chinese cabbage under IF application conditions, and there was a tight relationship between the effect of BC application on Chinese cabbage growth and that of agronomic IF application efficiency. Compared to the IF results, total N2O flux was lower with BC (flux decreased by 60.6%) or BC + IF (flux decreased by 22.3%) treatments. These results indicate that Chinese cabbage yield, when cultivated in soil conditions such as those in an upland field in South Korea, can be increased by application of BC or a combination of BC and IF.


Soil quality Upland field Barley straw biochar Inorganic fertilizer Chinese cabbage 


Funding information

This work was carried out with the support of the “Cooperative Research Program for Agriculture Science & Technology Development (Project No. PJ011227042018)” of the Rural Development Administration, Republic of Korea. This work was also supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (NRF- 2017R1A6A3A11034049).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Se-Won Kang
    • 1
  • Seong-Heon Kim
    • 2
  • Jong-Hwan Park
    • 3
  • Dong-Cheol Seo
    • 2
  • Yong Sik Ok
    • 4
  • Ju-Sik Cho
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Bio-environmental SciencesSunchon National UniversitySuncheonRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Division of Applied Life Science (BK21 Program) & Institute of Agriculture and Life ScienceGyeongsang National UniversityJinjuRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.School of Plant, Environmental, and Soil SciencesLouisiana State University AgCenterBaton RougeUSA
  4. 4.O-Jeong Eco-Resilience Institute (OJERI) & Division of Environmental Science and Ecological EngineeringKorea UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea

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