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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Increased Soil Enzyme Activities under Two Row Crops


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 62 No. 5, p. 1295-1301
    Received: Feb 11, 1997

    * Corresponding author(s): monrealc@em.agr.ca
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  1. D. W. Bergstrom and
  2. C. M. Monreal 
  1. Land Resource Unit, Brandon Research Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Room 362, Ellis Bldg., Univ. of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada, R3T 2N2



This study examined the influence of crop on the spatial pattern of soil enzyme activities in a Rego Humic Gleysol (Aquoll) strip-cropped to corn (Zea mays L.) and soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.]. Soil samples (0–23-cm depth) were collected at 20-cm spacings along transects across adjacent plant rows. Activities of dehydrogenase, urease, glutaminase, phosphatase, arylsulfatase, and β-glucosidase were compared for soil samples collected from within vs. between crop rows. Spectral analysis was used to test for a cyclical pattern of soil enzyme activities along transects. The spatial pattern of all six soil enzyme activities was sometimes influenced by the crop. Greater enzyme activity in the row than in the furrow was observed in approximately one-third of the cases examined. In approximately two-thirds of the cases where the class comparison indicated greater enzyme activity in the row than in the furrow, enzyme activity appeared to cycle at a period equal to the row spacing. Periodograms also indicated cycling at other periods, and there was considerable random variation in enzyme activities along the transects. Dehydrogenase and β-glucosidase activities differed between strips of corn and soybean on some sampling dates. The spatial pattern of soil enzyme activities indicated that they behaved similarly as general indices of microbial activity at the scale of measurement. Comparisons of soil enzyme activities between sites within the growing season should account for influence of the crop.

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