Due to the complexity of the soil environment it seems evident that several factors will affect enzyme activities in soil. As discussed by Gianfreda and Bollag (1996) and Dick and Tabatabai (1999), the activity of any enzyme in soil is the result of synthesis, persistence, stabilisation, regulation, and catalytic behaviour of the enzymatic proteins, present in the soil environment at the moment of the assay (Fig. 12.1). All these processes maybe dynamically interrelated and influenced by changes in the physical, chemical, and biological composition of soil.
The expression and conservation of a soil enzyme activity may be affected by environmental natural factors (e.g. seasonal changes, different geographical locations or diverse hydric and thermal soil regimes) and
by anthropogenic activities (e.g. agriculture and management practices or pollution events). All these factors may influence the production of enzymes by plants, microorganisms, and soil biota, their persistence under natural conditions, both composition and activity of soil biota, with effect on enzyme production and release, and the immobilising and stabilising capability of soil components towards enzymatic proteins. Kiss et al. (1998) have discussed the effect of human activity on soil enzyme in a volume entitled "Enzymology of disturbed soils".
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