Biology and Fertility of Soils

, Volume 54, Issue 6, pp 697–706 | Cite as

Effects of nitrification inhibitor and herbicides on nitrification, nitrite and nitrate consumptions and nitrous oxide emission in an Australian sugarcane soil

  • Manyun Zhang
  • Weijin Wang
  • Li Tang
  • Marijke Heenan
  • Zhihong Xu
Original Paper


This study evaluated the impacts of a nitrification inhibitor (3,4-dimethylpyrazole phosphate, DMPP) and herbicides (atrazine and glyphosate) on nitrification, gross nitrite, and nitrate (NO2-N + NO3-N) consumption rate, nitrous oxide (N2O) emission, and abundances of microbial functional genes related to nitrogen (N) cycling in an Australian sugarcane soil. The experiment included four treatments: blank control (CK), DMPP application (NI), atrazine application (ATR), and glyphosate application (GLY). All treatments received (NH4)2SO4 at 50 mg N kg−1 dry soil and KNO3 at 50 mg N kg−1 dry soil and were incubated initially at 55% of water holding capacity (WHC) for 7 days and subsequently at 75% WHC for another 7 days (K15NO3 with 5 atom% 15N added at the beginning of each stage). Compared with the CK treatment, DMPP application significantly decreased N2O emissions throughout the incubation, while atrazine or glyphosate application significantly inhibited N2O emissions only during the 4–7-day period. DMPP application also decreased ammonium-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) amoA gene abundances, gross NO2-N + NO3-N consumption rates at 55 and 75% WHC, and nirS and nirK gene abundances of denitrifiers at 75% WHC. The atrazine and glyphosate applications decreased the gross nitrification and NO2-N + NO3-N consumption rates, abundances of both ammonium-oxidizing archaea (AOA) and AOB amoA genes at 55 and 75% WHC, and abundances of functional genes related to different reactions of the denitrification during the incubation. These results suggested that DMPP, atrazine, and glyphosate could decrease soil gross nitrification and denitrification rates perhaps by inhibiting microbial functional gene abundances and that application of DMPP could effectively reduce N2O emissions in the sugarcane cropping soil.


3,4-dimethylpyrazole phosphate (DMPP) Atrazine Glyphosate Gross nitrification N2O emission Functional gene abundance 



Manyun Zhang was awarded a Griffith University Ph.D. scholarship for international students. The authors sincerely thank Geoffrey Lambert for his patient and detailed guidance in the determination of gross nitrification/denitrification rates, Linfeng Li for his support in the path analysis, and Dr. Xiuzhen Shi from the University of Melbourne for her help in the qPCR.

Supplementary material

374_2018_1293_MOESM1_ESM.docx (317 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 317 kb)


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Environmental Futures Research Institute, School of Natural SciencesGriffith UniversityBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Environment and ScienceDutton ParkAustralia

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