Plant and Soil

, Volume 50, Issue 1–3, pp 99–111 | Cite as

Nitrification activities and the changes in the populations of nitrifying bacteria in soil perfused at two different H-ion concentrations

  • S. U. Sarathchandra


The rate of nitrification by soil aggregates at pH 5.5 and 7.5 was examined by a perfusion technique. Nitrification occurred at both levels of H-ion concentration but at the higher pH the rate of nitrification was greater. The population estimates of nitrifying bacteria were correspondingly greater at the high pH. Once the pH was lowered from 7.5 to 5.5, the nitrification rate decreased slowly with a corresponding decrease in the numbers of nitrifying bacteria. The distribution of nitrifying bacteria throughout soil aggregates was homogenous. The lower limit of pH for nitrification was 4.3.


Nitrification Plant Physiology Lower Limit Population Estimate Nitrification Rate 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Alexander, M., Introduction to soil microbiology 272–292. John Wiley and Sons Inc. New York, (1961).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Alexander, M., Biochemical ecology of soil microorganisms Annu. Rev. Microbiol.18, 217–252 (1964).CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Alexander, M., Most probable number method for microbial populations.In Methods of soil analysis part2, 1467–1472, ed. C. A. Blacket al. Am. Soc. Agron. Inc.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Alexander, M. and Clark, F. E., Nitrifying bacteria.In Methods of soil analysis part2, 1477–1483, ed. C. A. Blacket al. Am. Soc. Agron. Inc.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Ardakani, M. S., Rehbock, J. T. and McLaren, A. D., Oxidation of ammonium to nitrate in a soil column. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. Proc.38, 96–99 (1974).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Broadbent, F. E., Tyler, K. B. and Hill, G. N., Nitrification of ammoniacal fertilisers in some Californian soils. Hilgardia27, 247–267 (1957).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Brown, M. W., A highly sensitive automated technique for the determination of ammonium-N. J. Sci. Food. Agric.24, 1119–1123 (1973).Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Campbell, N. E. R., and Lees, H., The nitrogen cycle.In Soil Biochemistry 194–215, eds. A. D. McLaren and G. H. Peterson, Edward Arnold Ltd, London (1967).Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Cochran, W. G., Estimation of bacterial densities by means of the most probable number. Biometrics6, 105–116 (1950).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Collins, F. M. and Sims, C. M., A compact soil perfusion apparatus. Nature London178, 1074–1075 (1956).Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Doak, B. W., Some chemical changes in the nitrogenous constituents of urine when voided in pasture. J. Agric. Sci.42, 162–171 (1952).Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    During, C., Cation exchange capacity at field pH and its relation to the affinity of soils for individual cations. N. Z. J. Agric. Res.16, 415–422 (1973).Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Estermann, E. F. and McLaren, A. D., Stimulation of bacterial proteolysis by adsorbants. J. Soil Sci.10, 64–78 (1959).Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Fields, M., and Claridge, G. G. C., Allophane.In Soil Components vol II 351–393. ed. J. E. Gieseking, Springer-Verlag, Berlin (1975).Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Focht, D. D. and Chang, A. C., Nitrification and denitrification process related to waste water treatment. Adv. Appl. Microbiol.19, 153–186 (1975).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Greenwood, D. J., Nitrification and nitrite dissimilation in soil. Plant and Soil17, 378–391 (1962).Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Hattori, T., On the distribution of bacterial cells in soil aggregates. J. Sci. Soil Manure Japan37, 302–304 (1966).Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Hattori, T., Fractionation of microbial cells in soil aggregates. Soil Biol.11, 30 (1969).Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Kemphake, L. J., Hannah, S. A. and Cohen, J. M., Automated analysis for nitrate by hydrazine reduction. Water Res.1, 205–216 (1967).Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Lees, H. and Quastel, J. H., Biochemistry of nitrification in soil, 2. The site of soil nitrification. Biochem. J.40, 815–823 (1946).Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Lockhead, A. G. and Burton, M. O., Qualitative studies of soil microorganisms. XII. Characterisation of vitamin B12-requiring bacteria. Can. J. Microbiol.1, 319–330 (1954).Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    McLaren, A. D. and Skujins, J. J., Nitrification byNitrobacter agilis on surfaces and in soil with respect to H-ion concentration. Can. J. Microbiol.9, 729–731 (1963).Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Metson, A. J., Methods of chemical analysis of soil survey samples 81–107., Soil Bureau Bulletin 12. Government Printer, Wellington, New Zealand (1956).Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Miller, R. B., Soil chemistry.In Soils of New Zealand Part2, 50–54. ed. Jean Luke. Government Printer, Wellington, New Zealand (1968).Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Morrill, L. G. and Dawson, J. E., Patterns observed for the oxidation of ammonium to nitrate by soil organisms. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. Proc.31, 757–760 (1967).Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Nishio, M. and Furusaka, C., The distribution of nitrifying bacteria in soil aggregates. Soil Sci. Plant Nutr.16, 24–29 (1970).Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Nishio, M. and Furusaka, C., The number of nitrite oxidising bacteria in soil percolated with nitrite. Soil Sci. Plant Nutr.17, 54–60 (1971).Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Nishio, M. and Furusaka, C., Kinetic study of soil percolated with nitrite. Soil Sci. Plant Nutr.17, 61–67 (1971).Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Quastel, J. H. and Scholefield, P. G., Biochemistry of nitrification in soil. Bacteriol. Rev.15, 1–53 (1951).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Sims, C. M. and Collins, F. M., The numbers and distribution of ammonia oxidising bacteria in some Northern Territory and South Australian soils. Aust. J. Agric. Res.11, 505–513 (1960).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Stojanovic, B. J. and Alexander, M., Effect of inorganic nitrogen on nitrification. Soil Sci.86, 208–215 (1958).Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Webber, D. F. and Gainey, P. L., Relative sensitivity of nitrifying organisms to hydrogen ions in soil and in solutions. Soil Sci.94, 138–145 (1962).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. U. Sarathchandra
    • 1
  1. 1.Ruakura Agricultural Research CentreHamiltonNew Zealand

Personalised recommendations