Journal of Soils and Sediments

, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 1250–1259 | Cite as

Effects of 3,4-dimethylpyrazole phosphate (DMPP) on the abundance of ammonia oxidizers and denitrifiers in two different intensive vegetable cultivation soils

  • Jie Li
  • Yuanliang Shi
  • Jiafa LuoEmail author
  • Yan Li
  • Lingli Wang
  • Stuart Lindsey
Soils, Sec 2 • Global Change, Environ Risk Assess, Sustainable Land Use • Research Article



Nitrification and denitrification in the N cycle are affected by various ammonia oxidizers and denitrifying microbes in intensive vegetable cultivation soils, but our current understanding of the effect these microbes have on N2O emissions is limited. The nitrification inhibitor, 3,4-dimethylpyrazole phosphate (DMPP), acts by slowing nitrification and is used to improve fertilizer use efficiency and reduce N losses from agricultural systems; however, its effects on nitrifier and denitrifier activities in intensive vegetable cultivation soils are unknown.

Materials and methods

In this study, we measured the impacts of DMPP on N2O emissions, ammonia oxidizers, and denitrifying microbes in two intensive vegetable cultivation soils: one that had been cultivated for a short term (1 year) and one that had been cultivated over a longer term (29 years). The quantitative PCR technique was used in this study. Three treatments, including control (no fertilizer), urea alone, and urea with DMPP, were included for each soil. The application rates of urea and DMPP were 1800 kg ha−1 and 0.5% of the urea-N application rate.

Results and discussion

The application of N significantly increased N2O emissions in both soils. The abundance of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) increased significantly with high rate of N fertilizer application in both soils. Conversely, there was no change in the growth rate of ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) in response to the applied urea despite the presence of larger numbers of AOA in these soils. This suggests AOB may play a greater role than AOA in the nitrification process, and N2O emission in intensive vegetable cultivation soils. The application of DMPP significantly reduced soil NO3-N content and N2O emission, and delayed ammonia oxidation. It greatly reduced AOB abundance, but not AOA abundance. Moreover, the presence of DMPP was correlated with a significant decrease in the abundance of nitrite reductase (nirS and nirK) genes.


Long-term intensive vegetable cultivation with heavy N fertilization altered AOB and nirS abundance. In vegetable cultivation soils with high N levels, DMPP can be effective in mitigating N2O emissions by directly inhibiting both ammonia oxidizing and denitrifying microbes.


AOA AOB DMPP nirnirVegetable cultivation soil 


Funding information

This study was financially supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (Nos. 2017YFD0200708, 2018YFD0200200, 2017YFD0200100, 2016YFD0200307, 2017YFD0800604), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41807107), a project from Liaoning province doctoral research start-up fund (20170520106), and the Shenyang science and technology project (17-156-6-00).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jie Li
    • 1
  • Yuanliang Shi
    • 1
  • Jiafa Luo
    • 2
    Email author
  • Yan Li
    • 3
  • Lingli Wang
    • 1
  • Stuart Lindsey
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Applied EcologyChinese Academy of SciencesShenyangChina
  2. 2.Ruakura Research CentreAgResearch LimitedHamiltonNew Zealand
  3. 3.Shandong Academy of Agricultural SciencesJinanChina

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