Priming Effect Induced by the Use of Different Fertilizers on Soil Functional Diversity

Bogdan Mihai ONICA, Roxana VIDICAN, Valentina SANDOR, Traian BRAD, Mignon SANDOR


Agricultural practices, such as the use of fertilizers, can change the structure and function of soil microbial community. Monitoring and assessing the soil microbiota and its dynamics related to different factors can be a powerful tool for understanding basic and applied ecological contexts. The main objective of this paper was to assess the changes of carbon turnover rate and the microbial metabolic activity, when different types of fertilizers were used, process called priming effect. A microcosm experiment was designed and performed under controlled temperature and humidity and the soil samples were analyzed using the MicroResp technique. Results show that the integration in soil of different carbon sources, such as green manure, can lead to a positive priming effect and integration of mineral fertilizers can lead to negative priming effect. The carbon sources with the highest respiratory activity were α-ketoglutaric acid, malic acid, oxalic acid, citric acid, while the lowest respiratory activity was obtained in case of arginine.


Community level physiological profile, Fertilizers, MicroResp, Soil, Functional diversity, Priming effect

Full Text:



University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine
3-5 Manastur St., 400372 Cluj-Napoca
Tel: +40-264-596.384 | Fax: +40-264-593.792