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Rhizosphere Denitrification; A Minor Process but Indicator of Decomposition Activity

  • Søren Christensen
  • Peter Groffman
  • Arvin Mosier
  • Donald R. Zak
Part of the Federation of European Microbiological Societies Symposium Series book series (FEMS, volume 56)

Abstract

The primary inputs of organic matter driving heterotrophic processes in soil are of plant origin. Microbial activity increases more than an order of magnitude when moving from the bulk soil through the rhizosphere towards the root surface (Brown, 1975; Helal and Sauerbeck, 1986). The composition of the soil microbial population (Rouatt et. al., 1960) and its denitrifying capability (Smith and Tiedje, 1979) show dramatic changes over this small distance in soil. Decomposition of recalcitrant soil organic matter can be stimulated in the rhizosphere (Helal and Sauerbeck, 1986) and grazing on soil microbes by soil animals is greatly increased in this environment (Clarholm, 1985). As members of the rhizosphere microbial community, the activity of denitrifying bacteria is expected to be dramatically affected by the presence of plants. Since the comprehensive work by Woldendorp (1963), several investigations in arable soil have shown a substantial influence of plants on denitrification (Bakken, 1988, Christensen 1985, Klemendtsson et. al., 1987, Von Rheinhaben and Troldenier, 1984 are more recent examples). Plants in waterlogged soil (Broadbent and Tusnem, 1971; Garcia, 1975; Reddy and Patrick, 1986) and algae in marine sediments (Andersen et. al., 1984) can also have a marked influence on denitrification. Some studies found no or weak influence of plants on denitrification (Haider et al., 1985; 1987).

Keywords

Microbial Biomass Denitrification Rate Denitrification Activity Plant Effect Immobilization 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.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Søren Christensen
    • 1
  • Peter Groffman
    • 2
  • Arvin Mosier
    • 3
  • Donald R. Zak
    • 4
  1. 1.Dep. Population BiologyCopenhagen Univ.Copenhagen ØDenmark
  2. 2.Coll. Resource Dev.Univ. Rhode IslandKingstonUSA
  3. 3.US Department of AgricultureARSFort CollinsUSA
  4. 4.School of Natural ResourcesUniv. of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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