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Effect of crop residues on nitrification activity and communities of autotrophic nitrifying bacteria

Milton, N.K., O'Brien, P. and Abbott, L.K. (2000) Effect of crop residues on nitrification activity and communities of autotrophic nitrifying bacteria. In: Soils 2000 : making our science more useable : proceedings of conference Muresk Institute of Agriculture, 11 - 13 July, Northam, WA, Australia pp. 147-150.

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Abstract

Nitrification is the process where ammonium is converted to nitrate by the activity of autotrophic nitrifying bacteria. This process is important in the supply of plant available nitrogen from the decomposition of organic material in soil. This experiment examined the activity and community of nitrifying bacteria in a sandy soil amended with either lucerne hay or wheat straw during a three month incubation. Lucerne hay significantly induced autotrophic nitrification activity, the main nitrification pathway. In contrast, wheat straw suppressed the rate of nitrification. Changes in the community structure of nitrifying bacteria in soils amended with either lucerne hay or wheat straw were observed by Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and hybridisation. Both treatments increased the abundance of heterotrophic and ammonium oxidising bacteria. However, no such trend was observed for the nitrite oxidiser group, even though they have important role in the nitrification process.

Publication Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/38330
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