Microbial oxidation of ammonium to nitrate may impose dangers to ecosystem functioning through soil and atmosphere contamination with end products or intermediate gases. A wide range of chemicals can inhibit nitrification under soil and laboratory conditions. In the present study, the effectiveness of chloride compared to 3,4-dimethylpyrazole phosphate (DMPP) as a standard nitrification inhibitor was evaluated. The results showed that DMPP (especially with double concentrations) inhibited nitrification for a longer time, until the end of incubation period. Chloride in the form of ammonium chloride (NH(4)Cl) or potassium chloride (KCl) also significantly inhibited nitrification compared to the control during the 7-week incubation period. This inhibition was positively correlated with applied chloride concentrations in soil. During a 5-week incubation period, the strongest concentration (500 mg/kg soil) showed more inhibition than concentrations of 250 or 100 mg/kg soil, particularly when compared to control. The results suggest that beside commercial nitrification inhibitors, chloride can significantly inhibit microbial nitrification in soil. Therefore, when chloride is not a soil problem, the chloride form of nitrogen fertilizers (e.g., ammonium chloride) could be a proper nitrogen fertilizer.
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