Biology and Fertility of Soils

, Volume 45, Issue 5, pp 555–561 | Cite as

Effect of organic and mineral fertilizers on soil respiration and enzyme activities of two Mediterranean horticultural soils

  • P. IovienoEmail author
  • L. Morra
  • A. Leone
  • L. Pagano
  • A. Alfani
Short Communication


The effects of municipal food waste compost addition and mineral fertilization on selected soil microbiological activities were investigated during 3 years of reiterated treatments on two Mediterranean agricultural soils with different organic carbon content. Compost at 15, 30 and 45 t ha−1 (dry matter), mineral (NPK) fertilizers and combined fertilizers with 15 t ha−1 of compost plus two reduced doses of mineral N were applied to both soils. At both sites, organic amendment increased soil respiration, fluorescein diacetate hydrolysis, phosphatase and arylsulphatase activities. The differences in soil microbial activities among treatments, found after 3 years of repeated treatments, were attributable to the variations of soil organic C content and to the impact of soil tillage. Our results show that, in Mediterranean intensively cultivated agroecosystems, annual organic amendments improve the microbial activity of soil and produce cumulative effects, suggesting the usefulness of repeated high-rate compost applications.


Mediterranean soils Biological fertility Compost Organic C Soil quality 



This research was supported by Regione Campania—Se.S.I.R.C.A and the Ministry of Agricultural and Forestry Policy (Mi.P.A.F.)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Iovieno
    • 1
    Email author
  • L. Morra
    • 2
  • A. Leone
    • 1
  • L. Pagano
    • 2
  • A. Alfani
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento di ChimicaUniversità di SalernoFiscianoItaly
  2. 2.CRAIstituto Sperimentale per l’OrticolturaPontecagnanoItaly

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