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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 26: III Symposium on Peat in Horticulture

MICROBIAL AND ENZYME ACTIVITY IN PEATS

Author:   M. Herlihy
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.1972.26.6
Abstract:
One recent study examined the effects of fertilisers on some microbiological transformations and on the activities of saccharase, amylase, protease and lipase in raised and blanket bog (1). Nitrification was absent in uncultivated virgin peat. However, only the overall nitrification process was studied so that no information was available on the distribution of the organisms responsible for the oxidation of ammonium to nitrite and nitrite to nitrate. These are Nitrosomonas spp and Nitrobacter spp, respectively. Another series of papers concerned with the ecology of cutover raised peat concentrated mainly on mycological studies but concluded that such peat was not rapidly colonised by a diversity of microorganisms (2, 3, 4). These latter studies examined uncultivated peat areas. The present investigation took advantage of a sequence of uncultivated and cultivated raised peats to evaluate the proliferation of chemoautotrophic nitrifiers and heterotrophic bacteria and actinomycetes and fungi.

Complementary studies included the comparative distribution of the enzymes phosphatase, urease and dehydrogenase.

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