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Decrease in soil microbial activity and biomasses owing to nitrogen amendments

  • Bengt Söderström
  • Erland Bååth
  • B. Lundgren
Publishing year: 1983
Language: English
Pages: 1500-1506
Publication/Series: Canadian Journal of Microbiology
Volume: 29
Issue: 11
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: National Research Council Canada

Abstract english

Microbial biomass and soil respiration rate decreased after application of 150 kg NH4NO3–N∙ha−1 to different coniferous forest podzols. The decrease was already found 3 months after fertilization and was still evident after 3–5 years. Changes in pH, organic matter, or water content in the soils could not explain the decreases. In laboratory experiments, several unfertilized forest soils were treated with 2 mg of NH4NO3–N or of urea–nitrogen∙g wet soil−1. The ammonium nitrate addition resulted in severe depressions of the respiration rates during and up to 175 days of incubation and the decrease was evident after about 1 week. The urea treatment initially increased the respiration rate of the soils, but this appeared to be a transitory effect.


  • Biological Sciences


  • Microbial Ecology
  • ISSN: 0008-4166
Erland Bååth
E-mail: erland [dot] baath [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

Professor emeritus


+46 46 222 42 64


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