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Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences
Year: 2001  |  Volume: 4  |  Issue: 3  |  Page No.: 333 - 338

Impact of Soil Environment and Agronomic Practices on Microbial/Dehydrogenase Enzyme Activity in Soil. A Review

Abid Subhani, Huang Changyong, Xie Zhengmiao, Liao Min and A. M. El-ghamry    

Abstract: The present review paper describes the effects of various soil environmental conditions and cultural practices, e.g., soil pH, soil moisture, temperature, nutrient status, insecticide and heavy metal pollutions, on soil microbial activities particularly the dehydrogenase (DNA) or electron transport system (ETS) activity in soil. One of the general criteria used to determine microbial activity and biomass in soil is dehydrogenase/ETS activity. Dehydrogenase activity (DHA) is an indicator for potential non-specific intracellular enzyme activity of the total microbial biomass. It has been used as an indicator for active microbial biomass. Soil pH and temperature can significantly affect microbial activities in soil. It has been reported that dehydrogenase/ETS activity is higher in anaerobically or flooded incubated soils than aerobically incubated soils. Any compound, which alters the number or activity of microorganisms, could affect the soil biochemical properties and ultimately also the soil fertility and plant growth. Dehydrogenase activities increase with increasing microbial populations following amendments of soils with nutrients. The application of organic materials, which contain crop residues, animal feces and their compost, etc., to soil usually, increases the soil biomass and activities. The effects of pesticides and heavy metals addition/presence are also discussed.

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