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Biochar can Increase Chinese Cabbage (Brassica oleracea L.) Yield, Decrease Nitrogen and Phosphorus Leaching Losses in Intensive Vegetable Soil

Haijun Sun1,2, Paramsothy Jeyakumar3, Hongdong Xiao2, Xuewen Li2, Jiayou Liu2, Min Yu2, Prabal Bir Jung Rana1, Weiming Shi2,4,*

1 Co-Innovation Center for Sustainable Forestry in Southern China, College of Forestry, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing, 210037, China
2 Department of Horticulture, College of Food Science and Technology, Foshan University, Foshan, 528000, China
3 Environmental Sciences, School of Agriculture and Environment, Massey University, Palmerston North, 4442, New Zealand
4 State Key Laboratory of Soil and Sustainable Agriculture, Institute of Soil Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing, 210008, China

* Corresponding Author: Weiming Shi. Email: email

(This article belongs to this Special Issue: Comprehensive Effects of Biochar or other Additives after Applied to Agricultural and Forest Soils)

Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany 2022, 91(1), 197-206.


There are few evidences on the effect of biochar on vegetable yield, nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) leaching losses under intensive vegetable production soil. The current field plot scale study evaluated responses of Chinese cabbage (Brassica oleracea L.) yield, N and P leaching losses using five N treatments of common N application rate according to local farmers’ practice (N100%), reducing 20% or 40% N fertilizer (N80% and N60%), and reducing 40% N fertilizer but incorporating 10 or 20 t/ha biochar (N60% + BC10 and N60% + BC20). Results showed that N80% and N60% decreased both the cabbage economic and leaf yields by 6.8%–36.3% and 27.4%–37.7%, respectively. Incorporation of biochar with reduced N fertilizer rates improved the cabbage yield, in particular the N60% + BC20 matched the yield that observed in N100% treatment. Enhanced N and P uptake capacities of cabbage shoot probably contributed the higher vegetable production under both biochar amendment schemes. Biochar application mitigated the NH4+-N and total P leaching losses by 20%–30% and 29%–32%, respectively, compared with their counterpart treatment N60%. Nevertheless, biochar exerted no influence on the NO3-N leaching. In addition, soil organic matter content was recorded with 7.4%–28.7% higher following 10–20 t/ha biochar application. In conclusion, biochar application can increase economic yield of cabbage via increasing N and P use efficiency, decrease N and P leaching losses, and improve soil quality in an intensive vegetable production system.


Cite This Article

Sun, H., Jeyakumar, P., Xiao, H., Li, X., Liu, J. et al. (2022). Biochar can Increase Chinese Cabbage ( L.) Yield, Decrease Nitrogen and Phosphorus Leaching Losses in Intensive Vegetable Soil. Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany, 91(1), 197–206.

cc This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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