Biology and Fertility of Soils

, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 177–183 | Cite as

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

  • Abdullah M. K. Falih
  • M. Wainwright
Original Paper


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 NH inf4 sup+ ) 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 So-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.

Key words

Heterotrophic microorganisms Nitrification P solubilization S oxidation Soil enzymes Sugar beet 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Abdullah M. K. Falih
    • 1
  • M. Wainwright
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Molecular Biology and BiotechnologyUniversity of SheffieldSheffieldUK

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