Soil erosion and nutrient loss on the Loess Plateau cause severe desertification and land degradation, which results the loss of soil fertility and grain production. To improve soil quality and grain yield, nano-biochar was banded (5 cm in width, 5 cm in depth) into a plot (3 m × 3 m) in Shenmu County, in northern Shaanxi Province on Loess Plateau. The effects of different nano-biochar contents (0, 0.1%, 0.5%, 0.7%, 1% in mass) on soil moisture, nutrients, maize growth and yields, were analyzed. The result showed that with increased nano-biochar rates, soil bulk density also increased, and soil aggregates with particle size > 2mm increased from 0.69 to 37.12%. At the seedling and shooting stages, soil moisture content in the plots with nano-biochar were significantly higher than those in control. Nano-biochar slowed transport rate of nitrogen from the surface to deeper soil profile. At 0–10 cm soil depth, the amount of available potassium with nano-biochar applied was higher than those in control plot. The plots with higher nano-biochar content (0.7% and 1%) significantly increased the 1000-grain weight and yield of maize.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Agronomy and Crop Science