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Soil microbial biomass and selected soil enzyme activities: effect of fertilization and cropping practices

Bolton, H. Jr., Elliott, L.F., Papendick, R.I., Bezdicek, D.F.
Soil biology & biochemistry 1985 v.17 no.3 pp. 297
soil biology, soil enzymes, soil fertility, cropping systems, fertilizers, Triticum aestivum, Pisum sativum, Washington
Selected microbiological properties of soils receiving different fertilizer management regimes were studied from adjoining wheat farms in the highly productive Palouse region of eastern Washington. Since 1909, the only N input to the soil of Farm Management System 1 has been through leguminous green manure crops consisting most recently of Austrian winter peas (Pisum sativum ssp. arvense L., Poir), plus native soil fertility for N and all other plant nutrients. The soil of Farm Management System 2 received regular applications of anhydrous ammonia, P and S at recommended rates for the last 30 yr. There were no differences in numbers of soil microorganisms as determined by plate counts; however, soil from management system 1 had significantly higher levels of urease, phosphatase and dehydrogenase at all three samplings and significantly higher soil microbial biomass at the first two samplings. The data indicate that management system 1 soil had a larger and more active soil microflora.