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Impact of Fertilizers and Pesticides on Soil Microfl ora in Agriculture
Impact of Fertilizers and Pesticides on Soil Microfl ora in Agriculture
Impact of Fertilizers and Pesticides on Soil Microfl  ora  in  Agriculture

Abstract Soil health management is crucial for ensuring sustainable agricultural productions and maintenance of biodiversity. Fertilizers and pesticides are a neces-sary evil for industrial agriculture. Though, they continue to be critically important tools for global food security, their undesirable effects cannot be overlooked par-

ticularly when sustainable agriculture is the universal focus. Apart from a range of widely discussed and well-known adverse effects of chemical fertilizers and pesti-cides on environment and human health they have also been held responsible for strongly infl uencing the microbial properties of soil.

Soil microfl ora is a key component of agricultural ecosystems that not only plays

a signifi cant role in the basic soil processes but is also actively involved in enhanc-ing soil fertility and crop productivity. Microbial activity in soil has a strong impact

on its physical properties and at the same time it is also instrumental in pursuing

eco-friendly practices like bioremediation and biocontrol of phytopathogens in agricultural soils. Soil microorganisms have thus been accepted as the bioindicators of soil health and activity.

Fertilizers and pesticides tend to have long persistence in the soil so they are bound to affect the soil micofl ora thereby disturbing soil health.

Amendment of soil with fertilizers and pesticides strongly infl uences a range of soil functions and prop-erties like rhizodeposition, nutrient content of bulk and rhizospheric soil, soil organic carbon, pH, moisture, activities of soil enzymes and many others.

All these factors indirectly lead to a shift in the population dynamics of soil microfl ora along with the direct effects of fertilizers and pesticides such as toxicity and altered sub-strate availability profi le of the soil. Though such effects are variable depending on many biotic and abiotic factors ranging from soil characteristics to crop variety, still it has been well established that long term and excessive chemical inputs in soil

Author : dr.torabi