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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Spatial Dependence of Soil Enzyme Activities along a Slope


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 62 No. 5, p. 1302-1308
    Received: Feb 11, 1997

    * Corresponding author(s): monrealc@em.agr.ca
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  1. D. W. Bergstrom,
  2. C. M. Monreal ,
  3. J. A. Millette and
  4. D. J. King
  1. Land Resource Unit, Brandon Research Station, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Room 362, Ellis Building, Univ. of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada R3T 2N2
    Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 70 Fountain St. E., Guelph, ON, Canada N1H 3N6



This study measured the spatial dependence of soil enzyme activities and other properties of the Ap horizon in a Gray Brown Luvisol (Hapludalf). Soil samples were collected at 74 positions along a slope following harvest of soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] and fall tillage. Parameters measured were activity of dehydrogenase, urease, glutaminase, phosphatase, arylsulfatase, and β-glucosidase; water, organic carbon (OC), mineral N, and inorganic P contents; the light fraction of soil organic matter; and depth of the Ap horizon. Rank correlation indicated significant relationships between water and dehydrogenase, urease, glutaminase, phosphatase, and arylsulfatase activities, and between water and OC content. Depth of the Ap horizon, water content, and arylsulfatase activity were strongly spatially dependent; OC and inorganic P contents and phosphatase activity were moderately spatially dependent. Other properties showed little or no spatial dependence. The ranges of spatial dependence were similar for depth of the Ap horizon, inorganic P content, and phosphatase activity (≈20 m). The range for arylsulfatase activity was 16 m, while that of OC content was 32 m. The relatively long range estimate for water content (98 m) was influenced by a trend along the slope. Maps of water and OC contents and phosphatase and arylsulfatase activities indicated similar spatial patterns along the slope. The magnitude of these soil properties was minimal in the middle or upper portion of the slope, and maximal at the footslope. Similarity in spatial patterns along the slope was interpreted as evidence for influence of water or OC content on amounts of phosphatase and arylsulfatase at that scale.

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