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Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 310;

Assessment of Soil Health in Urban Agriculture: Soil Enzymes and Microbial Properties

Korea Biochar Research Center & School of Natural Resources and Environmental Science, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon 24341, Korea
Institute of Soil and Environmental Sciences, University of Agriculture Faisalabad, Faisalabad 38040, Pakistan
Southern Cross GeoScience, Southern Cross University, Lismore 2480, Australia
Division of Environment-Friendly Agriculture Research, Gyeogsangnam-Do Agricultural Research and Extension Service, Jinju 52773, Korea
Department of Environmental Horticulture, The University of Seoul, Seoul 02504, Korea
Department of Environment and Energy Engineering, Chonnam National University, Gwangju 61186, Korea
Department of Environmental Engineering, Chosun University, Gwangju 61452, Korea
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 August 2016 / Accepted: 16 February 2017 / Published: 20 February 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Management of Post-Epidemic Mass Carcasses Burial Sites)
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Urban agriculture has been recently highlighted with the increased importance for recreation in modern society; however, soil quality and public health may not be guaranteed because of continuous exposure to various pollutants. The objective of this study was to evaluate the soil quality of urban agriculture by soil microbial assessments. Two independent variables, organic and inorganic fertilizers, were considered. The activities of soil enzymes including dehydrogenase, β-glucosidase, arylsulfatase, urease, alkaline and acid phosphatases were used as indicators of important microbial mediated functions and the soil chemical properties were measured in the soils applied with organic or inorganic fertilizer for 10 years. Fatty acid methyl ester analysis was applied to determine the soil microbial community composition. Relatively higher microbial community richness and enzyme activities were found in the organic fertilizers applied soils as compared to the inorganic fertilizers applied soils. Principal component analysis explained the positive influence of organic fertilizers on the microbial community. The application of organic fertilizers can be a better alternative compared to inorganic fertilizers for the long-term health and security of urban agriculture. View Full-Text
Keywords: urban agriculture; soil quality; soil enzyme; organic fertilizer; FAME urban agriculture; soil quality; soil enzyme; organic fertilizer; FAME

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Igalavithana, A.D.; Lee, S.S.; Niazi, N.K.; Lee, Y.-H.; Kim, K.H.; Park, J.-H.; Moon, D.H.; Ok, Y.S. Assessment of Soil Health in Urban Agriculture: Soil Enzymes and Microbial Properties. Sustainability 2017, 9, 310.

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