Biochars in soils: towards the required level of scientific understanding

Priit Tammeorg, Ana Catarina Bastos, Simon Jeffery, Frédéric Rees, Jürgen Kern, Ellen R. Graber, Maurizio Ventura, Mark Kibblewhite, António Amaro, Alice Budai, Cláudia M.d.S. Cordovil, Xavier Domene, Ciro Gardi, Gabriel Gascó, Ján Horák, Claudia Kammann, Elena Kondrlova, David Laird, Susana Loureiro, Martinho A.S. MartinsPietro Panzacchi, Munoo Prasad, Marija Prodana, Aline Peregrina Puga, Greet Ruysschaert, Lidia Sas-Paszt, Flávio C. Silva, Wenceslau Geraldes Teixeira, Giustino Tonon, Gemini Delle Vedove, Costanza Zavalloni, Bruno Glaser, Frank G.A. Verheijen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


© 2017 The Author(s) Published by VGTU Press and Informa UK Limited, [trading as Taylor & Francis Group]. Key priorities in biochar research for future guidance of sustainable policy development have been identified by expert assessment within the COST Action TD1107. The current level of scientific understanding (LOSU) regarding the consequences of biochar application to soil were explored. Five broad thematic areas of biochar research were addressed: soil biodiversity and ecotoxicology, soil organic matter and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, soil physical properties, nutrient cycles and crop production, and soil remediation. The highest future research priorities regarding biochar’s effects in soils were: functional redundancy within soil microbial communities, bioavailability of biochar’s contaminants to soil biota, soil organic matter stability, GHG emissions, soil formation, soil hydrology, nutrient cycling due to microbial priming as well as altered rhizosphere ecology, and soil pH buffering capacity. Methodological and other constraints to achieve the required LOSU are discussed and options for efficient progress of biochar research and sustainable application to soil are presented.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)192-207
JournalJournal of Environmental Engineering and Landscape Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2017


  • biochar
  • biodiversity
  • ecosystem services
  • ecotoxicology
  • greenhouse gases
  • nutrient cycles
  • policy support
  • soil organic matter
  • soil physical properties
  • soil remediation

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