Biochar Effects on Soil Fertility and Nutrient Cycling
Good soil fertility is associated with sufficient availability of nutrients and favorable environmental conditions for plant and crop growth. Soil nutrients required by plants are called essential nutrients and include macronutrients (C, H, O, N, P, K, S, Ca, and Mg) and micronutrients (B, Mn, Cu, Zn, Fe, Mo, and Cl). Having sufficient availability of essential nutrients is critical for supporting soil fertility and productivity. In agricultural production systems, incorporation of crop residues into the soil and application of manure, chemical fertilizers, both a combination are general measures to
enhance soil fertility through improving nutrient availability, retention, and cycling (Whitbread et al. 2003; Moyin-Jesu 2007).