Estimation of microbial biomass potassium in paddy field soil

Kohei Yamashita, Hiroki Honjo, Mizuhiko Nishida, Makoto Kimura, Susumu Asakawa

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14 Citations (Scopus)


Potassium (K) in microbial cells, microbial biomass K, in soil has been recently recognized as a K pool for plant growth. We determined soil microbial biomass K in paddy fields to reveal its importance as a K pool in paddy field soil for the first time. Microbial biomass K ranged from 5 to 21 mg K kg -1 in the soil samples periodically collected from a paddy field and the value corresponded to 41% of the exchangeable K on average. Both microbial biomass K and exchangeable K increased conspicuously due to the long-term application of livestock manure compost or rice straw compost. Biomass K was higher than exchangeable K under K-deficient conditions in the long-term experimental plots without K application. The present study revealed that the microbial biomass contained considerable amounts of K in paddy field soil, indicating the need for evaluation of the microbial biomass K as a source and a stock of K in soil that has been overlooked.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)512-519
Number of pages8
JournalSoil Science and Plant Nutrition
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jul


  • chloroform-fumigation extraction method
  • Microbial biomass potassium
  • paddy field soil


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