Biochar is the term given to biomass subjected to the process of change in the composition by the action of high temperatures. Advantages of biochar in soil quality have been reported, including amelioration of salinity effects. Salinity has a negative effect on soil physical properties and plant production by adversely affecting the process of plant growth, hence seed germination, nutrient uptake, and yield. Moreover, salt stress causes oxidative stress in plant and the reduction in antioxidant enzyme activities. Biochar is an amendment, which could decrease the negative effect of salt stress on crop growth and production. Application of biochar enriches mineral nutrients; improves the soil’s physical, chemical, and biological characteristics such as bulk density, hydrological properties, aggregate structure, ion exchange capacity, and microbial activity; and consequently enhances plant growth. Enhancing physical properties, biochar balances water holding capacity and air porosity in soils. Biochar promotes benefits in plant growth in saline soils through reduction in oxidation stress and in osmotic stress, lower production of phytohormones, improvement in stomatal density and conductance, improvement in seed germination, and the promotion of microbial activities. Biochar amendment can contribute to reduce salt stress in plants under saline condition due to its high salt adsorption capability.
Part of the book: Applications of Biochar for Environmental Safety