Agriculture 2011, 1(1), 4-21; doi:10.3390/agriculture1010004
Article

Multi-Location Study of Soil Enzyme Activities as Affected by Types and Rates of Manure Application and Tillage Practices

1 Cropping Systems Research Laboratory, USDA-ARS, 3810 4th Street, Lubbock, TX 79415, USA 2 Central Great Plains Research Station, USDA-ARS, 40335 County Road GG, Akron, CO 80720, USA 3 Animal Waste Management Research Unit, USDA-ARS, 230 Bennett Lane, Bowling Green, KY 42104, USA 4 Agricultural Research Center—Hays, Kansas State University, 1232 240th Avenue, Hays, KS 67601, USA 5 The Institute of Environmental and Human Health (TIEHH), Texas Tech University, Reese Technology Center Building 555, 1207 Gilbert Drive, Lubbock, TX 79416, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 November 2011; in revised form: 2 December 2011 / Accepted: 5 December 2011 / Published: 9 December 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Biology and Its Importance in Soil Fertility)
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Abstract: Significant amounts of manure are produced in the USA; however, information on the changes in ecosystem services related to soil biogeochemical cycling for agroecosystems supported with organic amendments such as manure is limited. A multi-location field study was initiated in Colorado (CO), Kansas (KS) and Kentucky (KY), USA in loam soils to evaluate the effects of manure and tillage practices on enzyme activities that are key to biogeochemical cycling such as β-glucosidase (C cycling), α-galactosidase (C cycling), β-glucosaminidase (C and N cycling) and phosphomonoesterases (P cycling). The treatments were as follows: (i) two years of beef manure applications to a fine sandy loam at different rates (control: 0, low: 34 kg N ha−1 and high: 96 kg N ha−1) and tillage practices in CO; (ii) three years of beef manure applications to a silt loam at different rates (0, low: 67 kg N ha−1 and high: 134 kg N ha−1) and tillage practices in KS and; (iii) three years of poultry and dairy manure applications to a silt loam with different tillage practices at the same rate (403 kg N ha−1) in KY. Tillage practices (none vs. conventional) had no effect on the enzyme activities. Principal Component Analyses (PCA) grouped all enzyme activities with the high beef manure application rate after the first year in CO at 0–5 cm. By the second year, the low and high beef manure rates differed in enzyme activities for the KS soil with no difference between the low rate and control in CO. Since the first year of the KY study, acid phosphatase activity was greater in the poultry treated soil compared to dairy or the control; whereas, C cycling enzyme activities were similar in soil treated with dairy or poultry manure. For all studies, PCAs for soil samples from 5–10 cm depth did not reveal treatment separation until the second year, i.e., only high application rate differed from the other treatments. Results of the study indicated significant responses in C and P cycling enzyme activities to manure applications within two years, suggesting potential benefits to soil biogeochemical cycling essential for the productivity of agroecosystems supported with organic fertilizers.
Keywords: broiler litter; poultry manure; dairy manure; beef manure; corn; tillage; enzyme activities; biogeochemical cycling; soil quality

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MDPI and ACS Style

Acosta-Martinez, V.; Mikha, M.M.; Sistani, K.R.; Stahlman, P.W.; Benjamin, J.G.; Vigil, M.F.; Erickson, R. Multi-Location Study of Soil Enzyme Activities as Affected by Types and Rates of Manure Application and Tillage Practices. Agriculture 2011, 1, 4-21.

AMA Style

Acosta-Martinez V, Mikha MM, Sistani KR, Stahlman PW, Benjamin JG, Vigil MF, Erickson R. Multi-Location Study of Soil Enzyme Activities as Affected by Types and Rates of Manure Application and Tillage Practices. Agriculture. 2011; 1(1):4-21.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Acosta-Martinez, Veronica; Mikha, Maysoon M.; Sistani, Karamat R.; Stahlman, Phillip W.; Benjamin, Joseph G.; Vigil, Merle F.; Erickson, Richie. 2011. "Multi-Location Study of Soil Enzyme Activities as Affected by Types and Rates of Manure Application and Tillage Practices." Agriculture 1, no. 1: 4-21.

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