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Effects of Different Chinese Hickory Husk Returning Modes on Soil Nutrition and Microbial Community in Acid Forest Soil

Qian Liu1, Sayikal Duyxanale1, Yongqian Tang2, Xinyu Shen1, Yuanlai Zhao1, Xinru Ma1, Shuai Shao1, Chenfei Liang1,*

1 State Key Laboratory of Subtropical Silviculture, Zhejiang A&F University, Hangzhou, 311300, China
2 Lingfeng Temple Forest Farm, Anji, 313300, China

* Corresponding Author: Chenfei Liang. Email:

(This article belongs to this Special Issue: The Effect of Soil Quality Degradation on the Plant Growth, Quality and Food Safety in Subtropical Agroforestry Ecosystems)

Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany 2023, 92(3), 943-954.


Chinese hickory (Carya cathayensis Sarg.) is an important economic forest in Southeastern China. A large amount of hickory husk waste is generated every year but with a low proportion of returning. Meanwhile, intensive management has resulted in soil degradation of Chinese hickory plantations. This study aims to investigate the effects of three Chinese hickory husk returning modes on soil amendment, including soil acidity, soil nutrition, and microbial community. The field experiment carried out four treatments: control (CK), hickory husk mulching (HM), hickory husk biochar (BC), and hickory husk organic fertilizer (OF). The phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) biomarker method was employed to determine the soil microbial community. After one year of treatment, the results showed that: (i) HM and BC significantly increased soil pH by 0.33 and 1.71 units, respectively; (ii) HM, BC and OF treatments significantly increased the soil organic carbon, alkaline nitrogen, available phosphorous, and available potassium. The OF treatment demonstrated the most significant improvement in the soil nutrient; (iii) The soil microbial biomass significantly increased in the HM, BC and OF treatments, and all microbial groups showed an increasing trend. HM treatment increased the fungal/bacterial ratio (F/B). The OF treatment significantly decreased the Shannon-Wiener diversity (H’) and evenness index (J) of the microbial community (P < 0.05). Considering the treatments effects, costs, and ease of operation, our recommended returning modes of Chinese hickory husk are mulching and organic fertilizer produced by composting with manure.


Cite This Article

Liu, Q., Duyxanale, S., Tang, Y., Shen, X., Zhao, Y. et al. (2023). Effects of Different Chinese Hickory Husk Returning Modes on Soil Nutrition and Microbial Community in Acid Forest Soil. Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany, 92(3), 943–954.

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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