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Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences
Year: 2003  |  Volume: 6  |  Issue: 6  |  Page No.: 528 - 535

Nitrification Inhibition in Soil and Ecosystem Functioning - An Overview

F. Azam and S. Farooq    

Abstract: Form (NH4 or NO3) and availability of N has significant implications to the functioning and sustainability of agroecosystems. Most of the fertilizer nitrogen (N) applied to agricultural soils is in the form of NH4 or NH4-forming fertilizers. This form of N is rapidly oxidized to NO3 by nitrifying microorganisms leading to significant losses of N through NO3-leaching and denitrification. Both denitrification and NO3-leaching have environmental implications and economic concerns. Strategies have therefore been sought to regulate the process of nitrification leading to its complete or partial inhibition. Indeed, climax ecosystems are developed in such a way that the process of nitrification is already fairly inhibited. This paper presents an overview on: I) the process of nitrification, ii) microorganisms involved, iii) the implications of nitrification and nitrification inhibition to ecosystem functioning and finally iv) the methods to inhibit nitrification.

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