EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Effects of biochar addition into intensive-olive orchard soils under deficit irrigation

Paloma Campos1,2, Águeda Sánchez-Martín2, Arturo Santa-Olalla3, Ana Z. Miller2, and José María de la Rosa2
Paloma Campos et al.
  • 1Department of Crystallography, Mineralogy and Agricultural Chemistry, University of Seville, Seville, Spain (
  • 2Institute of Natural Resources and Agrobiology of Seville, Seville, Spain
  • 3Microal S.L., Castilleja de la Cuesta Av., 5, 41110, Bollullos de la Mitación, Spain

Agriculture is facing the challenge of providing food for a growing world population in a context of climate change. The Mediterranean region is characterized for a semi-arid climate. Thus, water scarcity is coupled with the development of intensive crops that require irrigation, such as olive orchards. Recently, biochar –the solid aromatic carbonaceous product of the pyrolysis of residual biomasses– has been proposed as an amendment for reducing soil water loss [1] and increasing plant productivity [2].  The main objective of this study was to compare the effects of the application of biochar and green-compost (the organic amendment traditionally used) on soil properties and crop productivity at a super-intensive plantation of arbequina olive trees under deficit irrigation located at “La Hampa” field station (Coria del Río, Seville, Spain). Thus, soils were amended with 40 t ha-1 of olive-waste biochar, green-compost or a biochar-compost mixture (50 % w/w). Un-amended plots were used as control. On a monthly basis, soil pH, water holding capacity, humidity and penetrability resistance, as well as TC and TN contents of soils were determined. Finally, the total weight of produced-olives per tree was measured.

Results showed that biochar application was the most effective amendment in increasing soil water holding capacity and moisture. All the organic amendments reduced the soil penetrability resistance. Olive production increased about 15 % at the biochar amended plots. Thus, the application of organic amendments, especially biochar, improved soil physical properties and led to a higher crop production.

Acknowledgements: The BBVA foundation is gratefully acknowledged for funding the scholarship Leonardo to “Investigadores y Creadores Culturales 2020”, what made this project possible.


[1] Campos et al., 2021. Agronomy 11, 1394.

[2]De la Rosa et al., 2014. Science of the Total Environment 499, 175-184.

How to cite: Campos, P., Sánchez-Martín, Á., Santa-Olalla, A., Miller, A. Z., and de la Rosa, J. M.: Effects of biochar addition into intensive-olive orchard soils under deficit irrigation, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-1887,, 2022.

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