How biochar works, and when it doesn't: A review of mechanisms controlling soil and plant responses to biochar

  title={How biochar works, and when it doesn't: A review of mechanisms controlling soil and plant responses to biochar},
  author={Stephen Joseph and Annette L. Cowie and Lukas van Zwieten and Nanthi S. Bolan and Alice Budai and Wolfram Buss and Maria L. Cayuela and Ellen R. Graber and James A. Ippolito and Yakov Kuzyakov and Yu Luo and Yong Sik Ok and Kumuduni Niroshika Palansooriya and Jessica G. Shepherd and Scott L. Stephens and Zhe Han Weng and Johannes Lehmann},
  journal={GCB Bioenergy},
  pages={1731 - 1764}
We synthesized 20 years of research to explain the interrelated processes that determine soil and plant responses to biochar. The properties of biochar and its effects within agricultural ecosystems largely depend on feedstock and pyrolysis conditions. We describe three stages of reactions of biochar in soil: dissolution (1–3 weeks); reactive surface development (1–6 months); and aging (beyond 6 months). As biochar ages, it is incorporated into soil aggregates, protecting the biochar carbon and… 
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The characterization of biochar has been predominantly focused around determining physicochemical properties including chemical composition, porosity and volatile content. To date, little systematic