Folia Microbiologica

, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp 90–105 | Cite as

Effect of montmorillonite and kaolinite on nitrification in soil

  • J. Macura
  • G. Stotzky


A soil not naturally containing montmorillonite (M) was amended with approximately 5, 10 or 20% M or kaolinite (K), maintained in a greenhouse under periodic cultivating and alternate wetting and drying for more than two years, and then used in perfusion studies. The incorporation of M enhanced the rate of both heterotrophic degradation of glycine and subsequent autotrophic nitrification in direct relation to the amounts of M added. In soil amended with K, neither degradation nor nitrification was stimulated. The addition of M shortened the lag phase before nitrification was initiated, increased the pH of both the soil and the perfusates, and increased the rate, but not the extent, of oxidation of ammonium to nitrite and nitrate. The addition of CaCO3 or MgCO3, but not of CaSO4, also enhanced the rate of nitrification. The effects observed may have resulted from the influence of M on the pH, buffering capacity, and other soil conditions necessary for maximum activity of nitrifying microorganisms.


Clay Mineral CaCO3 Kaolinite Cation Exchange Capacity Control Soil 


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Copyright information

© Institute of Microbiology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Macura
    • 1
  • G. Stotzky
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Soil Microbiology, Institute of MicrobiologyCzechoslovak Academy of SciencesPrague 4
  2. 2.Laboratory of Microbial Ecology, Department of BiologyNew York UniversityNew York

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