Biochar activation by co-application with manure into the soil

Mr Martin Brtnicky1, Mr Oldrich Latal2, Miss Tereza Dokulilova1, Mr Jan Zloch1, Mr Vaclav Pecina1, Mrs Veronika  Janacova1, Mr Jiri Holatko1

1Mendel University In Brno, Brno, , 2Agrovyzkum Rapotin Ltd., Rapotin,

Plain, non-activated biochar applied in the soil affects microorganisms generally negligibly. If it does, biochar changes mostly the community of gram-negative bacteria and actinomycetes. Fungi and gram-positive bacteria are less affected. On the contrary, amendment of manure combined with inorganic fertilizer in the soil significantly increases abundance of all soil microbiota, both bacteria and fungi and among other groups also ammonia oxidizing bacteria (AOB).

We hypothesize that the co-application of inactivated biochar and manure in the soil could enhance positive effects of both amendments on the soil microbial community and other soil parameters.

Therefore, the effect of following variants of biochar, manure and inorganic fertilizer was tested in the pots experiment in greenhouse: 1) control – NPK only, 2) biochar + NPK (15 tons per hectar), 3) manure + NPK (50 tons per hectar), 4) biochar + manure + NPK (15 + 50 tons per hectar). Additional NPK fertilizer – 1) – 4) – was applied according to annual crop nutrient normative. The experiment was carried out on the soil from the topsoil (0-30 cm), collected from Rapotín locality in the Czech Republic, on soil type fluvisol at an altitude of about 345 m a. s. l. The soil in the pots was sown with wheat. The experiment was conducted in 2018.

Application of combined variant manure + biochar + NPK increased abundance of three microbial groups – bacteria, fungi, and AOB – significantly more as compared to both biochar + NPK and manure + NPK. The results showed that activation of biochar by co-application with manure is rather synergic and it exceeds additive effect of sole biochar and sole manure amendments.

This work has been supported by the project of the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic – TH 03030319.


Martin Brtnický  received his degree at Mendel University in Brno in 2005 (Agroecology). He has been interested in the soil science, landscape and ecology.  His research interests include soil quality, soil health, biochar and soil organic mater. He is involved in national research projects about soil quality from National Agency for Agricultural Research and Technology Agency of the Czech Republic. He is coordinator and co-coordinator of 9 projects. Example of projects – TH02030681-  Application of maize,  growing technology using mixed culture for the production of silage for a biogas plant. TH02030169-  Effect of biologically transformed organic matter and biochar application on the stability of productive soil properties and reduction of environmental risks and TH03030319- Promoting the functional diversity of soil organisms by applying classical and modified stable organic matter while preserving the soil’s production properties.

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