Fungicides in agriculture and their side effects on soil enzyme activities: a review

Anelia Kenarova and Silvena Boteva
Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, Department of Ecology and Nature Protection, Faculty of Biology, 1164 Sofia, Bulgaria


Kenarova, A. & Boteva, S. (2023). Fungicides in agriculture and their side effects on soil enzyme activities: a review. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 29 (1), 33–42

A wide variety of fungicides are globally applied for effective elimination of fungal pathogens in agriculture. The constant increase in their production and use in the years rises a concern about the environmental effects that they can cause. More attention is paid on fungicides such as mancozeb, azoxystrobin, chlorotalonil, carbendazim, tebuconazole and captan due to their widespread application. The studies are focused on the analysis of parameters that could be rapid, sensitive and informative for the fungicides’ impact on living organisms. Such parameter is the activity of soil microbial enzymes since their function is responsible for the soil health and fertility. Studies show that dehydrogenase, phosphatase and urease are the most commonly used enzymes due to their role in key metabolic processes, while invertase, β-glucosidase and cellulase were analyzed to a lesser extent. Most of the fungicides are reported to reduce the soil enzymes’ activity while others manifest positive or controversial effects which is determined not only by the fungicide chemical composition but also by its dose, exposure time, and/or soil properties. The aim of the review is to summarize the results and outline the trends of fungicide impacts on soil enzymes that take part in the soil nutrient cycling.

Keywords: fungicides; soil microorganisms; enzyme activity

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