Effect of nanohydroxyapatite/biochar/sodium humate composite on phosphorus availability and microbial community in sandy soils
Tao Li, Yinwei Hu, Pan Wang, Ting Jin, Yinyuan Chen, Gehong Wei and Chun Chen
Science of the Total Environment
Phosphorus (P) is essential for crop growth as an indispensable nutrient; however, there has been growing concern over the low use efficiency of P used in current fertilizers. We synthesized and characterized a potential P fertilizer nanohydroxyapatite/biochar/sodium humate (nHAP/BC/HANa) composite. To study the impact of the composite on soil chemical properties and microbial community in sandy soils, we set up four treatments as follows: (1) biochar (BC), (2) nanohydroxyapatite (nHAP), (3) nHAP/BC/HANa composite, and (4) sodium humate (HANa) was added separately into soils amended with nHAP/BC (nHAP/BC + HANa) to compare its performance with that of the nHAP/BC/HANa composite. A key finding was that the nHAP/BC/HANa composite not only significantly increased the soil available P content and alkaline phosphatase activity but also the increased organic matter content compared to the control. Additionally, leaching losses of P in soils amended with the nHAP/BC/HANa composite were lower than those in soils amended with the nHAP/BC + HANa, which suggested that the nHAP/BC/HANa composite had great potential to decrease P loss in sandy soils. Moreover, bacterial communities were more sensitive than fungal communities to all treatments. The bacterial communities showed the most significant changes in the nHAP/BC/HANa treatments. Results from Mantel tests further indicated that the strongest correlation between bacterial communities and soil properties occurring in the nHAP/BC/HANa treatments. Random forest analysis was conducted to identify the dominant microbial taxa, such as Proteobacteria, Acidobacteria, and Gemmatimonadetes, for predicting changes in soil properties. There was an asymptotical transition in bacterial community assembly processes from stochastic to deterministic in the nHAP/BC/HANa treatments. In conclusion, we demonstrated that nHAP/BC/HANa composite had the remarkable contribution to soil P availability in sandy soils, and simultaneously promoted the bacterial func-tions potential for P cycling, which present valuable insights to the development of potential P fertilizer.