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Chemosphere
Volume 294, 2022, 133619

Co-application of biochar and organic fertilizer promotes the yield and quality of red pitaya (Hylocereus polyrhizus) by improving soil properties

Limei Chena, Xiaoying Lia, Yutao Pengb, Ping Xianga, Yuzhou Zhoud

School of Ecology and Environment, Southwest Forestry University, Kunming, Yunnan, 650224, China.

Abstract

This study evaluated the combined impact of biochar and organic fertilizer on the soil properties, yield and quality of red pitaya (Hylocereus polyrhizus). A two-year (2019 and 2020) field experiment was conducted to study the effects of 3 rates of biochar (with carbon fertilizer ratios of 0%, 3%, and 6% w/w) combined with 3 levels of organic fertilizer (22.5, 45, and 90 t ha−1) on soil properties, along with red pitaya yield and quality. The results showed that soil pH, total organic carbon, available nutrients (N, P, and K), the yield and qualities (reduced sugar, soluble protein, and soluble solid) of red pitaya increased with the application of organic fertilizer compared with no application of biochar and organic fertilizer (CK treatment), but the combined application of biochar and organic fertilizer was more effective than their sole application. Furthermore, a medium dose of organic fertilizer combined with 3% biochar (C3F2 treatment) and a high dose of organic fertilizer combined with 3% biochar (C3F3 treatment) had the highest yields of red pitaya in 2019 and 2020. However, an application of 6% biochar with a low dose of organic fertilizer treatment (C6F1) had the highest profit in 2020, not the C3F3 treatment. The highest profits were observed in the C3F2 (71.0 × 103 RMB·t−1) and C6F1 (51.2 × 103 RMB·t−1) treatments. From the point of view of red pitaya yield and economic benefits, 3% biochar +45 t ha−1 organic fertilizer was the recommended combination that showed the best synergistic effect.

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