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Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences
Year: 2003  |  Volume: 6  |  Issue: 7  |  Page No.: 629 - 639

Microbial Biomass in Agricultural Soils - Determination, Synthesis, Dynamics and Role in Plant Nutrition

F. Azam, S. Farooq and A. Lodhi    

Abstract: Microbial biomass is a small but labile component of soil organic matter and plays an important role in cycling and other nutrient elements. Because of its importance in the functioning of different ecosystems, synthesis/dynamics of microbial biomass and its role in plant nutrition under different ecosystem conditions has assumed greater significance. In the same perspective, developing quick and convenient methods of determination have been of immense research interest for the least few decades. As a result significant improvements have thus far been made although no single method is devoid of snags. This paper presents I) a critical evaluation of methods to determine microbial biomass and ii) a review on the formation/dynamics of microbial biomass and its role in plant nutrition. Since carbon © and nitrogen (N) are the major elements, special attention has been given to these while discussing microbial biomass.

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