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Biodegradation

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 43–50 | Cite as

Effect of nitrogen and phosphorus addition on phenanthrene biodegradation in four soils

  • Carol R. Johnson
  • Kate M. ScowEmail author
Article

Abstract

Phenanthrene mineralization rates were found to vary widely among four soils; differences in soil nutrient levels was one hypothesis to explain this variation. To test this hypothesis, phenanthrene mineralization rates were measured in these soils with, and without, added nitrogen and phosphorus. Mineralization rates either remained unchanged or were depressed by the addition of nitrogen and phosphorus. Phenanthrene degradation rates remained unchanged in the soil which had the highest indigenous levels of nitrogen and phosphorus and which showed the largest increase in phosphorus levels after nutrients were added. The soils in which degradation rates were depressed had lower initial phosphorus concentrations and showed much smaller or no measurable increase in phosphorus levels after nutrients were added to the soils. To understand the response of phenanthrene degradation rates to added nitrogen and phosphorus, it may be necessary to consider the bioavailability of added nutrients and nutrient induced changes in microbial metabolism and ecology.

biodegradation nitrogen nutrients phenanthrene phosphorus 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Land, Air and Water ResourcesUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA

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