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Microbial and enzyme activity in soils amended with a natural source of easily available carbon

Falih, A.M.K., Wainwright, M.
Biology and fertility of soils 1996 v.21 no.3 pp. 177-183
soil microorganisms, soil enzymes, biological activity in soil, roots, sugar beet, soil amendments, carbon, nutrient availability, biogeochemical cycles, phosphorus, solubility, sulfur, oxidation, nitrification, soil pH, glucose, enzyme activity, agricultural soils
The addition of sugar beet to soils as a source of C led to an increase in the availability of easily utilizable C (glucose), which in turn markedly increased numbers of soil bacteria and of the yeast Williopsis californica. Nitrification, P solubilization, urea hydrolysis (and the subsequent nitrification of liberated NH4) were stimulated by this amendment. The stimulation of nitrification may have been a result of increased heterotrophic nitrification. In contrast, the concentration of sulphate in S0-amended soils declined following amendment, presumably as the result of enhanced S immobilization. Activity of the enzymes amylase, aryl sulphatase, invertase, phosphatase, dehydrogenase, and urease were all stimulated by the sugar beet amendment. These results suggest that sugar beet amendment could be used to increase the rate of release of plant-available ions from fertilizers such as insoluble phosphates. Problems may arise, however, from a subsequent increase in nitrification and reduced sulphate availability.