Case, S.D.C.; McNamara, N.P.; Reay, D.S.; Stott, A.W.; Grant, H.K.; Whitaker, J.

Chemical analysis of nitrogen transformations in biochar amended soil

These data are from an investigation of the effects of biochar application to soil, on soil greenhouse gas emissions and N transformations within the soil. Biochar is a carbon rich substance which is being advocated as a climate mitigation tool to increase carbon sequestration and reduce nitrous oxide emissions. The data were collected during a 15N pool dilution incubation to investigate the nitrogen transformations within biochar-amended soil following the addition of 15N-labelled ammonium nitrate. Analyses included 15N content of nitrous oxide and 15N content of soil. The N transformations were then modelled using a model for calculating nitrogen fluxes in soil using 15N tracing (FLUAZ model).

Publication date: 2013-10-31

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This resource is made available under the terms of the Open Government Licence

You must cite: Case, S.D.C.; McNamara, N.P.; Reay, D.S.; Stott, A.W.; Grant, H.K.; Whitaker, J. (2013). Chemical analysis of nitrogen transformations in biochar amended soil. NERC Environmental Information Data Centre.



Study area
Temporal extent
2011-03-01    to    2012-01-31


Twenty soil cores were collected from a field site in Lincolnshire in March 2011, three weeks after planting and Nitrogen fertiliser addition. Soil cores of 150-180 millimetre (mm) depth, containing approximately 1.6 kilogram soil (dry weight) were extracted in Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipes (height 215 mm depth 102 mm) and stored at 4 degrees centigrade for 30 days. A four-treatment factorial experiment was designed using soils un-amended or amended with biochar and un-wetted or wetted with deionised water (5 replicates per treatment). Soil in all the cores was mixed to 7 centimetre (cm) depth. To half of the cores, biochar (less than 2 mm) was mixed into the soil at a rate of 3 percent soil dry weight (approximately 22 tons per hectare (t ha-1)). After allowing for any potential Carbon dioxide (CO2) flush from newly-mixed soil to equilibrate for seven days, the cores were placed at 16 degrees centigrade in the dark. Un-wetted soil cores were maintained at 23 percent Gravimetric moisture content (GMC), whilst the GMC of 'wetted' soil cores was increased to 28 percent GMC at the time zero (t0) of four wetting events on day 17, 46, 67 and 116. These water addition rates were based on mean and maximum monthly soil GMC measured in the field between 2009-2010.


Case, S.D.C.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
McNamara, N.P.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Reay, D.S.
The University of Edinburgh
Stott, A.W.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Grant, H.K.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Whitaker, J.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

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Environmental Information Data Centre
NERC Environmental Information Data Centre
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Centre for Ecology & Hydrology - Shore Section


Spatial reference system
OSGB 1936 / British National Grid


Topic categories
Other keywords
nitrous oxide
greenhouse gas
CEH Topic
Shore Section
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