Dynamics of biochemical properties associated with soil nitrogen mineralization following nitrification inhibitor and fungicide applications
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Agrochemical applications may have side effects on soil biochemical properties related to soil nitrogen (N) mineralization and thus affect N cycling. The present study aimed to evaluate the effects of nitrification inhibitor 3,4-dimethylpyrazole phosphate (DMPP) and fungicide iprodione on soil neutral protease (NPR), alkaline protease (APR), chitinase (CHI), and their functional genes (nprA, aprA, and chiA) related to soil N mineralization. The following four treatments were included: blank control (CK), single DMPP application (DAA), weekly iprodione applications (IPR), and the combined applications of DMPP and iprodione (DI). Compared with the CK treatment, DMPP application significantly inhibited the CHI activity in the first 14 days of incubation, and iprodione applications, particularly when applied alone, decreased the NPR, APR, and CHI activities. Relative to the IPR treatment, extra DMPP application had the potential to alleviate the inhibitory effects of iprodione on the activities of these enzymes. DMPP application significantly increased aprA gene abundances after 14 days of incubation. However, repeated iprodione applications, alone or with the DMPP, decreased nprA and chiA gene abundances. Relative to the CK treatment, DMPP application generated negligible effects on the positive/negative correlations between soil enzyme activities and the corresponding functional gene abundances. However, the positive correlation between the CHI activity and chiA gene abundance was changed to negative correlation by repeated iprodione applications, alone or together with the DMPP. Our results demonstrated that agrochemical applications, particularly repeated fungicide applications, can have inadvertent effects on enzyme activities and functional gene abundances associated with soil N mineralization.
Environmental Science and Pollution Research