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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 702909, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/702909
Research Article

Impact of Fungicide Mancozeb at Different Application Rates on Soil Microbial Populations, Soil Biological Processes, and Enzyme Activities in Soil

1Department of Basic Sciences (Microbiology Section), Dr. Yashwant Singh Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni, Solan 173230, India
2DBT-IOC Centre for Bioenergy Research, Indian Oil R&D Centre, Sector-13, Faridabad, Haryana 121007, India
3Department of Basic Sciences, Dr. Yashwant Singh Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni, Solan 173230, India

Received 1 July 2014; Accepted 19 October 2014; Published 16 November 2014

Academic Editor: Manuel Tejada

Copyright © 2014 Abhishek Walia et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The use of fungicides is the continuous exercise particularly in orchard crops where fungal diseases, such as white root rot, have the potential to destroy horticultural crops rendering them unsaleable. In view of above problem, the present study examines the effect of different concentrations of mancozeb (0–2000 ppm) at different incubation periods for their harmful side effects on various microbiological processes, soil microflora, and soil enzymes in alluvial soil (pH 6.8) collected from apple orchards of Shimla in Himachal Pradesh (India). Low concentrations of mancozeb were found to be deleterious towards fungal and actinomycetes population while higher concentrations (1000 and 2000 ppm) were found to be detrimental to soil bacteria. Mancozeb impaired the process of ammonification and nitrification. Similar results were observed for nitrifying and ammonifying bacteria. Phosphorus solubilization was increased by higher concentration of mancozeb, that is, 250 ppm and above. In unamended soil, microbial biomass carbon and carbon mineralization were adversely affected by mancozeb. Soil enzymes, that is, amylase, invertase, and phosphatase showed adverse and disruptive effect when mancozeb used was above 10 ppm in unamended soil. These results conclude that, to lessen the harmful effects in soil biological processes caused by this fungicide, addition of higher amount of nitrogen based fertilizers is required.