Jatinder Kaur Sandeep Sharma Hargopal Singh


Changes in soil microbial activities were investigated to examine the effect of aerobically digested sewage sludge (SS) and compared with compost under incubation conditions over 63 days. Sandy soil was amended with 0.25, 0.5, 1.0 and 1.5 % w/w of compost and sewage sludge. Enzyme activity (dehydrogenase, alkaline phosphatase, acid phosphatase, phytase and urease) were examined at an interval of 3, 7, 14, 21, 28, 42 and 63 days. At the end of the experiment the change in organic carbon, nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus was also recorded.
Results indicated that enzyme activities were substantially enhanced in presence of both amendments for first few days and the higher increases were measured at 1.5% of compost and sewage sludge amendment. Then an overall decrease in enzyme activity was recorded. Both the amendments also significantly increased the organic carbon, nitrogen and potassium of the soil while increase in available phosphorus was only recorded in treatment receiving compost. The present experiment indicated that addition of compost and sewage sludge have positive effect on soil microbial activity and can be safely used as soil amendment without having any adverse effect. Though, a previous examination of sewage sludge to be used must be made for heavy metals and pathogens.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...




Compost, Microbial enzyme, Sandy soil, Sewage sludge

Abdalla, M.A. and Langer, U. (2009). Soil enzymes activities in irrigated and rainfed vertisols of the semi-arid tropics of Sudan. Int. J. Soil Sci., 4: 67-79.
Acuña, J.J., Jorquera, M.A, Martínez, O.A., Menezes- Blackburn,D., Fernández, M.T., Marschner, P., Greiner, R. and Mora, M.L. (2011). Indole acetic acid and phytase activity produced by rhizosphere bacilli as affected by pH and metals. Journal of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, 11: 1-12
Allison, S.D. and Vitousek, P.M. (2005). Responses of extracellular enzymes to simple and complex nutrient inputs. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 37: 937-944
Ames, B.N. (1966). Assay of inorganic phosphate, total phosphate and phosphatases. Methods Enzymol., 8: 115-118
Bouajila, K. and Sanaa, M. (2011). Effects of organic amendments on soil physico-chemical and biological properties. J. Mater. Environ. Sci., 485-490
Bose, S. and Bhattacharyya, A.K. (2012) Effect of industrial sludge application on soil nitrogen and wheat plant response. Open Journal of Soil Science, 2: 133-145
Bremner, J.M. and Mulvaney, R.L. (1978). Urease Activity in Soil. In: R.G. Burns, Ed., Soil Enzymes, Academic Press, New York, pp. 149-196.
Caldwell, B.A. (2005). Enzyme activities as a component of soil biodiversity: A review. Pedobiologia, 49: 637-644.
Camina, F., Trasar, C.C., Sotres, G.F. and Leiros, C. (1998). Measurement of dehydrogenase activity in acid soil rich in organic matter. Soil Biology & Biochemistry, 33: 1005-1011.
Casida, L.E., Kklein, D.A. and Santoro, T. (1964). Soil dehydrogenase activity. Soil Science, 98: 371-376
Chiu, C.Y. and Tian, G. (2011). Chemical structure of humic acids in biosolids-amended soils as revealed by NMR spectroscopy. Appl. Soil. Ecol., 49: 76–80.
Cogger, C.G. (2005). Potential compost benefits for restoration of soils disturbed by urban development. Compost Sci. Util., 13: 243–251.
Crecchio, C., Curci, M., Pizzigallo, M.D.R., Ricciuti, P. and Ruggiero P. (2004). Effects of municipal solid waste compost amendments on soil enzyme activities and bacterial genetic diversity. Soil Biol. Biochem., 36: 1595–1605.
Criquet, S., Braud, A. and Neble, S. (2007). Short-term effects of sewage sludge application on phosphatase activities and available P fractions in mediterranean soil. Soil Biol Biochem., 39: 921–929
Curtis, M.J. and Claassen, V.P. (2009). Regenerating topsoil functionality in four drastically disturbed soil types by compost incorporation. Restor. Ecol., 17: 24–32.
de Bertoldi, M., Vallini, G. and Pera, A. (1983). The biology of composting: a review. Waste Management and Research, 1: 157-176
Díaz, E., Roldán, A., Lax, A. and Albaladejo, J. (1994). Formation of stable aggregates in degraded soil by amendment with urban refuse and peat. Geoderma, 63: 277-288.
Dinkelaker, B. and Marschner, H. (1992). In vivo demonstration of acid phosphatase activity in the rhizosphere of soil-grown plants. Plant and Soil, 144: 199-205.
Douglas, L.A. and Bremner, J.M. (1970). Extraction and colorimetric determination of urea in soils. Soil Science Society of America Proceedings, 34:859-862
Fernandes, S.A.P, Bettiol, W. and Cerri, C.C. (2005). Effect of sewage sludge on microbial biomass, basal respiration, metabolic quotient and soil enzymatic activity. Applied Soil Ecology, 30: 65-77
Ferreras, L., Gomez, E., Toresani, S., Firpo, I. and Rotondo, R. (2006). Effect of organic amendments on some physical, chemical and biological properties in a horticultural soil. Bioresour Technol., 97: 635-40.
Garcia, C., Hernandez, T., Costa, C., Ceccanti, B., Masciandaro, G. and Ciardi, C. (1993). A study of biochemical parameters of composted and fresh municipal wastes. Bioresour Technol., 44: 17–23
Garcia, C., Hernandez, T., Costa, F. and Ceccanti, B. (1994). Biochemical parameters in soil regenerated by addition of organic wastes. Waste Management & Research, 12: 457–466
Gomez, K.A. and Gomez, A.A. (1984). Statistical Procedures for Agricultural Research. 2nd Edition, John Wiley and Sons Inc., New York, USA., ISBN: 13-9780471879312, Pages: 680.
Goyal, S., Walia, M., Kapoor, K.K. and Kundu, B.S. (2008). Impact of sewage sludge application on soil microbial biomass, microbial processes and plant growth- a review. Agric. Rev., 29: 1-10
Guerrero, C., Gõmez, I., Mataix-Solera, J., Moral, R.., Mataix-Beneyto, J. and Hernandez, M.T. (2000). Effect of solid waste compost on microbiological and physical properties of a burnt forest soil in field experiment. Biology and Fertility of Soils, 32: 410-414
International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). (2000). IRRISTAT for window (CD-ROM) version 4.02b. Los Baños, Philippines;IRRI.
Juma, N.G. and Tabatabai, M.A. (1988). Phosphatase activity in corn and soybean roots: conditions for assay and effects of metals. Plant Soil, 107:39–47
Kabirinejad, S. and Hoodaji, M. (2012). The effects of biosolid appliaction on soil chemical properties and Zea mays nutrition. International Journal of Recycling of Organic Waste in Agriculture, 1:4
Karaca, A., Haggblomb, M.M. and Tate III, R.L. (1999). Effects of the Land Application of Sewage Sludge on Soil Heavy Metal Concentrations and Soil Microbial Sewage Sludge and Soil Urease Activity 147 Communities. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 31: 1467-1470.
Kizilkaya, R. and Bayrakli, B. (2005). Effects of N-enriched sewage sludge on soil enzyme activities. Applied Soil Ecology, 30: 192-202.
Kizilkaya, R., Bayrakli, F. and Surucu, A. (2007). Relationship between phosphatase activity and phosphorus fractions in agricultural soils. Int. J. Soil Sci., 2: 107-118.
Ladd, J.N. and Jackson, R.B. (1982). Biochemistry of ammonification. In F J Stevenson, F. J. (ed.), Nitrogen in Agricultural Soils, American Society of Agronomy, WI. pp. 173–228.
Lai, K.M., Ye, D.Y. and Wong, J.W.C. (1999). Enzyme activities in a sandy soil amended with sewage sludge and coal fly ash. Water, Air and Soil Pollution, 113: 261 -272
Marinari, S., Masciandaro, G., Ceccanti, B. and Grego, S. (2000). Influence of organic and mineral fertilisers on soil biological and physical properties. Bioresour. Technol. 72:9–17
Marschner, P., Kandeler, E. and Marschner, B. (2003). Structure and function of the soil microbial community in a long-term fertilizer experiment. Soil Biol. Biochem., 35: 453–461
McLean, E.O. (1982). Soil pH and lime requirement. In Page, A.L., R.H. Miller and D.R. Keeney (eds.) Methods of soil analysis. Part 2 - Chemical and microbiological properties. (2nd Ed.). Agronomy, 9: 199-223.
Metzger, L. and Yaron, B. (1987). Influence of sludge organic matter on soil physical properties. p. 141–163. In B.A Stewart (ed.) Advances in soil science, Vol. 7. Springer, New York.
Murphy, J. and Riley, J.P. (1962). A modified single solution method for determination of phosphate in natural waters. Analytical Chimica Acta., 27: 31-36.
Nakas, J.P., Gould, W.D. and Klein, D.A. (1987). Origin and expression of phosphatase activity in a semi-arid grassland soil. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 19: 13-18.
Nannipieri, P. (1994). The potential use of soil enzymes as indicators of productivity, sustainability and pollution. In: Pankhurst, C.E., Doube, B.M., Gupta, V.V.S.R., Grace, P.R. (Eds.), Soil biota. Management in Sustainable Farming Systems. CSIRO, East Melbourne, pp. 238–244.
Nannipieri, P., Grego, S. and Ceccanti, B. (1990). Ecological significance of the biological activity in soil. In: Soil Biochemistry, Volume 6 (eds J.-M. Bollag & G. Stotzky), pp. 293–355. Marcel Dekker, New York
Obbard, J.P., Sauerbeck, D. and Jones, K.C. (1994). Dehydrogenase activity of the microbial biomass in soils from a field experiment amended with heavy metal contaminated sewage sludges. Sci Total Environ., 142: 157-162
Olsen, S.R., Cole, C.V., Watanabe, F.S. and Dean, I.A. (1954). Estimation of available phosphorus in soils by extraction with sodium bicarbonate. U.S. Department of Agriculture Circ., 939: 1-19.
Pagliai, M., Guidi, G., La Marca, M., Gichetti, M. and Lucamante, G. (1981). Effect of sewage sludges and composts on soil porosity and aggregation. J. Environ. Qual.,10:556–561.
Pankhurst, C.E., Hawke, B.G., McDonald, H.J., Kirkby, C.A., Buckerfield, J.C., Michelsen, P., O’Brien, K.A., Gupta, V.V.S.R and Doube, B.M. (1995). Evaluation of soil biological properties as potential bioindicators of soil health. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture, 35: 1015-1028.
Citation Format
How to Cite
Kaur, J., Sharma, S., & Singh, H. (2015). Comparative assessment of microbial enzyme activity with compost and sewage sludge amendment. Journal of Applied and Natural Science, 7(2), 1021-1028. https://doi.org/10.31018/jans.v7i2.725
More Citation Formats:
Research Articles