Biochar-induced priming effects in soil via modifying the status of soil organic matter and microflora: A review

Maria Rasul, Jinwoo Cho, Hyun Sang Shin, Jin Hur

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Biochar (BC) application has the potential to be integrated into a carbon-trading framework owing to its multiple environmental and economic benefits. Despite the increasing research attention over the past ten years, the mechanisms of BC-induced priming effects on soil organic carbon mineralization and their influencing factors have not been systematically considered. This review aims to document the recent progress in BC research by focusing on (1) how BC-induced priming effects change the soil environment, (2) the factors governing the mechanisms underlying BC amendment effects on soils, and (3) how BC amendments alter soil microbial communities and nutrient dynamics. Here, we carried out a detailed examination of the origins of different biochar, its pyrolysis conditions, and potential interactions with various factors that affect BC characteristics and mechanisms of C mineralization in primed soil. These findings clearly addressed the strong linkage between BC properties and abiotic factors that leads to change the soil microclimate, priming effects, and carbon stabilization. This review offers an overview of a fragmented body of evidence and the current state of understanding to support the application of BC in different soil environments with the aim of sustaining or improving the agricultural crop production.

Original languageEnglish
Article number150304
JournalScience of the Total Environment
StatePublished - 20 Jan 2022


  • Biochar
  • Microbial community
  • Mineralization
  • Priming effect
  • Soil organic matter


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