Biology and Fertility of Soils

, Volume 24, Issue 2, pp 141–146

Effect of tillage and residue management on enzyme activities in soils: III. Phosphatases and arylsulfatase

  • S. P. Deng
  • M. A. Tabatabai

DOI: 10.1007/s003740050222

Cite this article as:
Deng, S. & Tabatabai, M. Biol Fertil Soils (1997) 24: 141. doi:10.1007/s003740050222


This study was carried out to investigate the effect of tillage and residue management on activities of phosphatases (acid phosphatase, alkaline phosphatase, phosphodiesterase, and inorganic pyrophosphatase) and arylsulfatase. The land treatments included three tillage systems (no-till, chisel plow, and moldboard plow) in combination with corn residue placements in four replications. The activities of these enzymes in no-till/double mulch were significantly greater than those in the other treatments studied, including no-till/bare, no-till/normal, chisel/normal, chisel/mulch, moldboard/normal, and moldboard/mulch. The effect of mulching on activities of phosphatases was not as significant as on activities of arylsulfatase. The lowest enzyme activities were found in soil samples form no-till/bare and moldboard/normal treatments, with the exception of inorganic pyrophosphatase, which showed the lowest activity in no-till/bare only. Among the same residue placements, no-till and chisel plow showed comparable arylsulfatase activity, whereas the use of moldboard plow resulted in much lower arylsulfatase activity. The activities of phosphatases and arylsulfatase were significantly correlated with organic C in the 40 soil samples studies, with r values ranging from 0.71*** to 0.92***. The activities of alkaline phosphatase, phosphodiesterase, and arylsulfatase were significantly correlated with soil pH, with r values of 0.85***, 0.78***, and 0.77***, respectively, in the 28 surface soil samples studied, but acid phosphatase and inorganic pyrophosphatase activities were not significantly correlated with soil pH. The activities of phosphatases and arylsulfatase decreased markedly with increasing soil depth and this decrease was associated with a decrease in organic C content. The activities of these enzymes were also significantly intercorrelated, with r values ranging from 0.50*** to 0.92***.

Key words Tillage systems Crop residues Acid phosphatase Alkaline phosphatase Phosphodiesterase Inorganic pyrophosphatase Arylsulfatase 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. P. Deng
    • 1
  • M. A. Tabatabai
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Agronomy, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011, USAUS

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