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Termites Improve the Horizontal Movement of Carbonized Particles: A Step towards Sustainable Utilization of Biochar

Mazhar Ali1, Nasir Masood1, Hafiz Muhammad Rashad Javeed1, Ibrahim Al-Ashkar2, Khalid F. Almutairi2, Liyun Liu3, Muhammad Aqeel Sarwar4, Karthika Rajendran5, Ayman EL Sabagh6,*

1 Department of Environmental Sciences, COMSATS University Islamabad, Vehari Campus, Vehari, 61100, Pakistan
2 Department of Plant Production, College of Food and Agriculture, King Saud University, Riyadh, 11451, Saudi Arabia
3 Graduate School of Integrated Sciences for Life, Hiroshima University, Hiroshima, 739-8528, Japan
4 Crop Sciences Institute, National Agricultural Research Centre, Islamabad, 44000, Pakistan
5 VIT School of Agricultural Innovations and Advanced Learning (VAIAL), Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT), Vellore, 632014, India
6 Department of Agronomy, Faculty of Agriculture, Kafrelsheikh University, Kafr El-Shaikh, 33516, Egypt

* Corresponding Author: Ayman EL Sabagh. Email: email

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

Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany 2022, 91(10), 2235-2248.


Soil amendments containing carbonized materials increase the soil carbon reservoir, influence plant productivity, and, ultimately, help to clean the environment. There is data on the effect of such additions on soil physicochemical properties or plant growth, but few studies have focused on how these carbonized materials are distributed by termite species in the soil ecosystem. It is the first comprehensive study of the transportation of biochar (BC) by termite species under tropical environmental conditions in Pakistan. The present study was carried out to test the hypothesis that if termite species I) were involved in the distribution of biochar particles II) if yes, then how far these particles were transported during the study period (10 days) and III) check their preference between the enriched BC (EBC) and non-enriched BC. BC was enriched with the cattle slurry after its pyrolysis in the study. The results showed that EBC particles were significantly more widely distributed than non-enriched BC particles, but both types of BC were transported more than 4 cm (ring 4) within 10 days (at the end of the experiment). The current study also revealed that EBC was easily attached to the setae, cuticle, and legs of termites, implying that it could potentially be transported over a greater distance. Furthermore, transportation of EBC over larger distances indicated a potential preference of termite species between the EBC and BC particles. During the study, however, the preference among the termite species was also observed. Under the prevailing study conditions, the Coptotermes heimi and Heteroterme indicola species transported the EBC further than Microtermes obesi and Odontotermes obesus. These findings revealed that transportation preferences were observed among the four termite species. In conclusion, the current study found that termites were involved in the distribution of BC particles, with a preference for EBC and that these have the potential to transport BC particles more than 4 cm within 10 days. Furthermore, two species Coptotermes heimi and Heteroterme indicola may be more suitable candidates for EBC transpiration in Pakistani soils. It was necessary to conduct additional research into the effect of temperature on the transportation process.


Cite This Article

APA Style
Ali, M., Masood, N., Javeed, H.M.R., Al-Ashkar, I., Almutairi, K.F. et al. (2022). Termites improve the horizontal movement of carbonized particles: A step towards sustainable utilization of biochar. Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany, 91(10), 2235-2248.
Vancouver Style
Ali M, Masood N, Javeed HMR, Al-Ashkar I, Almutairi KF, Liu L, et al. Termites improve the horizontal movement of carbonized particles: A step towards sustainable utilization of biochar. Phyton-Int J Exp Bot. 2022;91(10):2235-2248
IEEE Style
M. Ali et al., "Termites Improve the Horizontal Movement of Carbonized Particles: A Step towards Sustainable Utilization of Biochar," Phyton-Int. J. Exp. Bot., vol. 91, no. 10, pp. 2235-2248. 2022.

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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