A field experiment was conducted during 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 to investigate the effect of optimal (100% NPK) to super-optimal doses (200% NPK) of mineral fertilizers on soil enzymes such as dehydrogenase (DHA), acid phosphatase (Ac-PA), alkaline phosphatase (Alk-PA), fluorescien diacetate hydrolysis (FDA), urease and nitrate reductase (NRA) at three physiological stages (CRI, anthesis and maturity) of wheat crop on an Inceptisol. Dehydrogenase activity was reduced by 28-37% when fertilizer application was at super-optimal dose (200% NPK), whereas, urease and NRA responded positively in the range of 43-44% and 213-231% respectively. Alk-PA
was 7.3-7.9% higher in treatments receiving 125% NPK as compared to control (100% NPK); whereas, Ac-PA declines in the plots receiving 175 and 200% of recommended dose of fertilizer (RDF) as compared to 150% NPK levels. Addition of 175% RDF increased the FDA to the tune of 46-53% as compared to 100% NPK. A significant (P?0.05) positive interaction between fertilizer treatments and physiological stages of wheat growth was observed on soil enzyme activities (except urease and NRA) being highest at the anthesis stage of wheat. Correlation matrix analysis showed that DHA was correlated with the studied enzyme activities except Ac-PA and FDA; whereas, strong correlation was observed between urease and NRA (r=0.981, P=0.01). This study provides theoretical and practical base for avoiding super optimal application of fertilisers which hinders the enzyme activities and vis-a-vis sustainable nutrient enrichment under rhizosphere.
Physiological stages, Soil enzymes, Super-optimal fertilization, Wheat
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