Skip to main content

Chemical Fertilizers and Their Impact on Soil Health

  • Chapter
  • First Online:
Microbiota and Biofertilizers, Vol 2

Abstract

Soil carries out an important ecological services for the sustenance and survival of life. Soil health management is vital for the maintenance of biodiversity and safeguarding sustainable agricultural production. So, retaining and preserving soil health has prime importance for ecosystem sustainability. The health of soil is regulated by soil properties, that is, physicochemical and biological properties. Modern agriculture is largely dependent upon fertilizers. These are an unavoidable threat to agriculture. Nevertheless, they continue to be vital tools for worldwide food safety. When sustainable agriculture is the global target, the troublesome effects of chemical fertilizers cannot be ignored. Chemical fertilizer plays an essential role in enhancing crop productivity and soil fertility. Chemical fertilizers are of various types in the form of nitrogenous, phosphate, potassium fertilizers. The employment of fertilizers not only increases crop productivity, but also alters soil physicochemical and biological properties. However, continuous utilization of chemical fertilizers is responsible for the decline of soil organic matter (SOM) content coupled with a decrease in the quality of agricultural soil. The overuse of chemical fertilizers hardens the soil, reduces soil fertility, pollutes air, water, and soil, and lessens important nutrients of soil and minerals, thereby bringing hazards to environment. Sole utilization of chemical fertilizers led to weak microbial activity in the cropping system. Constant use of chemical fertilizer can alter the pH of soil, increase pests, acidification, and soil crust, which results in decreasing organic matter load, humus load, useful organisms, stunting plant growth, and even become responsible for the emission of greenhouse gases. These will undoubtedly influence the soil biodiversity by upsetting soil well-being because of long time persistence in it.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

Chapter
USD 29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
eBook
USD 129.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Softcover Book
USD 169.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info
Hardcover Book
USD 169.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions

Similar content being viewed by others

References

  • Akhtar M, Alam SM (2001) Effect of incubation period on phosphate sorption from two P sources. J Biol Sci 1:124–125

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Anderson AB (2004) The anatomy of life and energy in agriculture. Acres U.S.A, Metairie, p 114

    Google Scholar 

  • Balezentiene L, Klimas E (2009) Effect of organic and mineral fertilizers and land management on soil enzyme activities. Agron Res 7(Special issue I):191–197

    Google Scholar 

  • Batey T (2009) Soil compaction and soil management -a review. Soil Use Manag 25(4):335–345

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bhat RA, Dervash MA, Mehmood MA, Bhat MS, Rashid A, Bhat JIA, Singh DV, Lone R (2017a) Mycorrhizae: a sustainable industry for plant and soil environment. In: Varma A et al (eds) Mycorrhiza-nutrient uptake, biocontrol, ecorestoration. Springer International Publishing, Cham, pp 473–502

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Bhat RA, Shafiq-ur-Rehman, Mehmood MA, Dervash MA, Mushtaq N, Bhat JIA, Dar GH (2017b) Current status of nutrient load in Dal Lake of Kashmir Himalaya. J Pharmacogn Phytother 6(6):165–169

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Bhat RA, Beigh BA, Mir SA, Dar SA, Dervash MA, Rashid A, Lone R (2018a) Biopesticide techniques to remediate pesticides in polluted ecosystems. In: Wani KA, Mamta (eds) Handbook of research on the adverse effects of pesticide pollution in aquatic ecosystems. IGI Global, Hershey, pp 387–407

    Google Scholar 

  • Bhat RA, Dervash MA, Qadri H, Mushtaq N, Dar GH (2018b) Macrophytes, the natural cleaners of toxic heavy metal (THM) pollution from aquatic ecosystems. In: Environmental contamination and remediation. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Cambridge, UK, pp 189–209

    Google Scholar 

  • Bhattacharyya P, Nayak AK, Mohanty S, Tripathi R, Shahid M, Kumar A, Raja R, Panda BB, Roy KS, Neogi S, Dash PK, Shukla AK, Rao KS (2013) Greenhouse gas emission in relation to labile soil C, N pools and functional microbial diversity as influenced by 39 years’ long-term fertilizer management in tropical rice. Soil Tillage Res 129:93–105

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bhatti AA, Haq S, Bhat RA (2017) Actinomycetes benefaction role in soil and plant health. Microb Pathog 111:458–467

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Blanco-Canqui H, Gantzer CJ, Anderson SH, Alberts EE, Ghidey F (2002) Saturated hydraulic conductivity and its impact on simulated runoff for claypan soils. Soil Sci Soc Am J 66:1596–1602

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Bohme L, Langer U, Bohme F (2005) Microbial biomass, enzyme activities and microbial community structure in two European long-term field experiments. Agric Ecosyst Environ 109:141–152

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Brevik EC, Burgess LC (2013) Soils and human health. CRC Press, Boca Raton

    Google Scholar 

  • Casiday R, Frey R (1998) Natural acidity of rainwater. Washington University, St. Louis Missouri. http://www.chemistry.wustl.edu/~edudev/LabTutorials/Water/FreshWater/acidrain.html

  • Chand R, Pavithra S (2015) Fertilizer use and imbalance in India: Analysis of States. Economic Political Weekly 50:44

    Google Scholar 

  • Chaudhry AN, Jilani G, Khan MA, Iqbal T (2009) Improved processing of poultry litter to reduce nitrate leaching and enhance its fertilizer quality. Asian J Chem 21:4997–5003

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Chauhan PK, Singh V, Dhatwalia VK, Abhishek B (2011) Physico-chemical and microbial activity of soil under conventional and organic agricultural systems. J Chem Pharm Res 3:799–804

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Dar S, Bhat RA (2020) Aquatic pollution stress and role of biofilms as environment cleanup technology. In: Qadri H, Bhat RA, Dar GH, Mehmood MA (eds) Freshwater pollution dynamics and remediation. Springer Nature, Singapore, pp 293–318

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Dar GH, Bandh SA, Kamili AN, Nazir R, Bhat RA (2013) Comparative analysis of different types of bacterial colonies from the soils of Yusmarg Forest, Kashmir Valley India. Ecol Balk 5(1):31–35

    Google Scholar 

  • Dar GH, Kamili AN, Chishti MZ, Dar SA, Tantry TA, Ahmad F (2016) Characterization of Aeromonas sobria isolated from fish Rohu (Labeo rohita) collected from polluted pond. J Bacteriol Parasitol 7(3):1–5. https://doi.org/10.4172/2155-9597.1000273

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Dervash MA, Bhat RA, Shafiq S, Singh DV, Mushtaq N (2020) Biotechnological intervention as an aquatic clean up tool. In: Qadri H, Bhat RA, Mehmood MA, Dar GH (eds) Freshwater pollution dynamics and remediation. Springer Nature, Singapore, pp 183–196

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Dinesh R, Srinivasan V, Hamza S, Manjusha A (2010) Short term incorporation of organic manures and biofertilizers influences biochemical and microbial characteristics of soils under an annual crop [Turmeric (Curcuma longa L.)]. Biores Technol 101:4697–4702

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Doran JW, Parkin TB (1994) Defining and assessing soil quality. In: Doran JW, Coleman DC, Bezdicek DF, Stewart BA (eds) Defining soil quality for a sustainable environment. Soil Science Society of America, Inc., Madison, pp 3–21

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Geisseler D, Scow KM (2014) Long-term effects of mineral fertilizers on soil microorganisms – A review. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 75:54–63

    Google Scholar 

  • FAO (2009) ResourceSTAT-Fertilizer. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. http://faostat.fao.org/site/575/DesktopDefault.aspx?PageID=575#ancor. 12.03.2009

  • Hai L, Li X G, Li F M, Suo D R, Guggenberger G (2010) Long-term fertilization and manuring effects on physicallyseparated soil organic matter pools under a wheat-wheatmaize cropping system in an arid region of China. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 42, 253–259

    Google Scholar 

  • Hamza MA, Anderson WK (2005) Soil compaction in cropping systems: a review of the nature, causes, and possible solutions. Soil Tillage Res 82:121–145

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hera C (1996) The role of inorganic fertilizers and their management practices. Fertil Res 43:63–81

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Irshad M, Hafeez F, Naseem M, Rizwan M, Al-Wabel MI (2018) Effect of coal and wood ash on phosphorus immobilization in different textured soils. Arab J Geosci 11(18):536

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Islam MR, Trivedi P, Palaniappan P, Reddy MS, Sa T (2009) Evaluating the effect of fertilizer application on soil microbial community structure in rice based cropping system using fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) analysis. World J Microbiol Biotechnol 25:1115–1117

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Khanday M, Bhat RA, Haq S, Dervash MA, Bhatti AA, Nissa M, Mir MR (2016) Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi boon for plant nutrition and soil health. In: Hakeem KR, Akhtar J, Sabir M (eds) Soil science: agricultural and environmental prospectives. Springer International Publishing, Cham, pp 317–332

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Kibblewhite MG, Ritz K, Swift MJ (2008) Soil health in agricultural systems. Philos Trans Royal Soc B 363:685–701

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Kong WD, Zhu YG, Fu B, Han X, Zhang L, He J (2008) Effect of long-term application of chemical fertilizers on microbial biomass and functional diversity of a black soil. Pedosphere 18:801–808

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Kumpawat BS, Jat ML (2005) Profitable and energy efficient integrated nutrient management practices for maize-mustard cropping system in Southern Rajasthan. Curr Agric 29:97–102

    Google Scholar 

  • Ladha JK, Kesava Reddy C, Padre AT, Kessel CV (2011) Role of Nitrogen Fertilization in Sustaining Organic Matter in Cultivated Soils. Journal of Environmental Quality 40(6):1756–1766

    Google Scholar 

  • Li F, Liu M, Li Z, Jiang C, Han F, Che Y (2013) Changes in soil microbial biomass and functional diversity with a nitrogen gradient in soil columns. Appl Soil Ecol 64:1–6

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lopes AR, Faria C, Prieto-Fernandez A, Trasar-Cepeda C, Manaia CM, Nunes OC (2011) Comparative study of the microbial diversity of bulk paddy soil of two rice fields subjected to organic and conventional farming. Soil Biol Biochem 43:115–125

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Lupwayi NZ, Lafond GP, Ziadi N, Grant CA (2012) Soil microbial response to nitrogen fertilizer and tillage in barley and corn. Soil Tillage Res 118:139–146

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Mari GR, Changying J, Zhou J (2008) Effects of soil compaction on soil physical properties and nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium uptake in wheat plants. J Trans CSAE 24(1):74–79

    Google Scholar 

  • Mehmood MA, Qadri H, Bhat RA, Rashid A, Ganie SA, Dar GH, Shafiq-ur-Rehman (2019) Heavy metal contamination in two commercial fish species of a trans-Himalayan freshwater ecosystem. Environ Monit Assess 191:104. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10661-019-7245-2

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Mele PM, Crowley DE (2008) Application of self-organizing maps for assessing soil biological quality. Agric Ecosyst Environ 126:139–152

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Mushtaq N, Bhat RA, Dervash MA, Qadri H, Dar GH (2018) Biopesticides: the key component to remediate pesticide contamination in an ecosystem. In: Environmental contamination and remediation. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Cambridge, UK, pp 152–178

    Google Scholar 

  • Mushtaq N, Singh DV, Bhat RA, Dervash MA, Hameed UB (2020) Freshwater contamination: sources and hazards to aquatic biota. In: Qadri H, Bhat RA, Dar GH, Mehmood MA (eds) Freshwater pollution dynamics and remediation. Springer Nature, Singapore, pp 27–50

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Nannipieri P, Grego S, Ceccanti B (1990) Ecological significance of the biological activity in soil. In: Bollag JM, Stotzky G (eds) Soil biochemistry, vol 6. Marcel Dekker, New York, pp 293–355

    Google Scholar 

  • Paul E (2007) Soil microbiology, ecology, and biochemistry. Academic, Oxford

    Google Scholar 

  • Pevear DR (1999) Illite and hydrocarbon exploration. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 96:3440–3446

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Pirhadi M, Enayatizamir N, Motamedi H, Sorkheh K (2018) Impact of soil salinity on diversity and community of sugarcane endophytic plant growth promoting bacteria (Saccharumofficinaruml. var. CP48). Appl Ecol Environ Res 16(1):725–739

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Recous S, Robin D, Darwis D, Mary B (1995) Soil inorganic nitrogen availability: effect on maize residue decomposition. Soil Biol Biochem 27:1529–1538

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Selvi D, Santhy P, Dhakshinamoorthy M (2005) Effect of inorganics alone and in combination with farmyard manure on physical properties and productivity of Vertic Haplustepts under long-term fertilization. J Indian Soc Soil Sci 53:302–307

    Google Scholar 

  • Shen W et al (2008) Land use intensification affects soil microbial populations, functional diversity and related suppressiveness of cucumber Fusarium wilt in China’s Yangtze River Delta. Plant Soil 306:117–127

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Singh DV, Bhat JIA, Bhat RA, Dervash MA, Ganei SA (2018) Vehicular stress a cause for heavy metal accumulation and change in physico-chemical characteristics of road side soils in Pahalgam. Environ Monit Assess 190:353. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10661-018-6731-2

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Singh DV, Bhat RA, Dervash MA, Qadri H, Mehmood MA, Dar GH, Hameed M, Rashid N (2020) Wonders of nanotechnology for remediation of polluted aquatic environs. In: Qadri H, Bhat RA, Dar GH, Mehmood MA (eds) Freshwater pollution dynamics and remediation. Springer Nature, Singapore, pp 319–339

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Smiley RW, Cook RJ (1973) Relationship between take-all of wheat and rhizosphere pH in soils fertilized with ammonium vs nitrate-nitrogen. Phylopathology 63:882–890

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Sönmez I, Kaplan M, Sönmez S (2007) An investigation of seasonal changes in nitrate contents of soils and irrigation waters in greenhouses located in Antalya-Demre region. Asian J Chem 19(7):5639–5646

    Google Scholar 

  • Sradnick A, Murugan R, Oltmanns M, Raupp J, Joergensen RG (2013) Changes in functional diversity of the soil microbial community in a heterogeneous sandy soil after long-term fertilization with cattle manure and mineral fertilizer. Appl Soil Ecol 63:23–28

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sun HY, Deng SP, Raun WR (2004) Bacterial community structure and diversity in a century- old manure-treated agroecosystem. Appl Environ Microbiol 70:5868–5874

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Su YZ (2007) Soil carbon and nitrogen sequestration following the conversion of cropland to alfalfa forage land in northwest China. Soil and Tillage Research 92, 181–189

    Google Scholar 

  • Tan H, Barret M, Rice O, Dowling DN, Burke J, Morrissey JP, O’Gara F (2012) Long-term agrichemical use leads to alterations in bacterial community diversity. Plant Soil Environ 58:452–458

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Tien CJ, Chen CS (2012) Assessing the toxicity of organophoshorus pesticides to indigenous algae with implication for their ecotoxicological impact to aquatic life. J Environ Sci Health B 47:901–912

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Velthof GL, Barot S, Bloem J, Butterbach-Bahl K, de Vries W, Kros J, Lavelle P, Olesen JE, Oenema O (2011) Nitrogen as a threat to European soil quality. In: Sutton MA, Howard CM, Erisman JW, Billen G, Bleeker A, Grennfelt P, van Grinsven H, Grizzetti B (eds) The European nitrogen assessment. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, pp 494–509

    Google Scholar 

  • Venkateshwarlu K (1993) Pesticide interaction with cyanobacteria in soil and pure culture. Soil Biochem 8:137–139

    Google Scholar 

  • Venterea RT, Groffman PM, Verchot LV, Magill AH, Aber JD (2004) Gross nitrogen process rates in temperate forest soils exhibiting symptoms of nitrogen saturation. For Ecol Manage 196:129–142

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Weisskopf P, Reiser R, Rek J, Oberholzer HR (2010) Effect of different compaction impacts and varying subsequent management practices on soil structure, air regime and microbiological parameters. Soil Tillage Res 111(1):65–74

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wu M, Qin H, Chen Z, Wu J, Wei W (2011) Effect of long-term fertilization on bacterial composition in rice paddy soil. Biol Fertil Soils 47:397–405

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wu F, Gai Y, Jiao Z, Liu Y, Ma X, An L, Wang W, Feng H (2012) The community structure of microbial in arable soil under different long-term fertilization regimes in the Loess Plateau of China. Afr J Microbiol Res 6:6152–6164

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Xie W, Zhou J, Wangb H, Chen X, Lu Z, Yu J, Chen X (2009) Short-term effects of copper, cadmium and cypermethrin on dehydrogenase activity and microbial functional diversity in soils after long-term mineral or organic fertilization. Agric Ecosyst Environ 129:450–456

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Yang YH, Yao J, Hu S, Qi Y (2000) Effects of agricultural chemicals on DNA sequence diversity of soil microbial community: a study with RAPD marker. Microb Ecol 39:72–79

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Yang YH, Chen DM, Jin Y, Wang HB, Duan YQ, Guo XK, He HB, Lin WX (2011) Effect of different fertilizers on functional diversity of microbial flora in rhizospheric soil under tobacco monoculture. Acta Agron Sin 37:105–111

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Zhong WH, Cai ZC (2007) Long-term effects of inorganic fertilizers on microbial biomass and community functional diversity in a paddy soil derived from quaternary red clay. Appl Ecol 36:84–89

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2021 The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG

About this chapter

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this chapter

Pahalvi, H.N., Rafiya, L., Rashid, S., Nisar, B., Kamili, A.N. (2021). Chemical Fertilizers and Their Impact on Soil Health. In: Dar, G.H., Bhat, R.A., Mehmood, M.A., Hakeem, K.R. (eds) Microbiota and Biofertilizers, Vol 2. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-61010-4_1

Download citation

Publish with us

Policies and ethics