Long-term effect of mineral fertilizers and amendments on microbial dynamics in an alfisol of Western Himalayas
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The microbial dynamics expressed in terms of culturable microbial populations i.e. bacteria, fungi, actinomycetes and Azotobacter were measured after 33 years of continuous application of mineral fertilizers and amendments to an acid alfisol. The bacterial, fungal and Azotobacter populations were maximum in plots treated with mineral fertilizers and FYM (100%NPK+FYM) while actinomycetes population was maximum in mineral fertilizes and lime treated plots (100%NPK+Lime). The bacterial population decreased and fungal population increased with increasing levels of NPK i.e. from 50% to 150%NPK. Bacillus species of bacteria and Gliocladium, Aspergillus and Rhizopus species of fungi were the main dominating culturable microorganisms in all the treatments. The FYM and lime amended plots sustained crop productivity and microbial populations at higher levels than rest of the mineral fertilizer treatments. The nitrogenous fertilizers alone had the most deleterious effect on crop productivity and the biological soil environment.
KeywordsMineral fertilizers amendments alfisol microbial dynamics
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