Data on Integrating fertility inputs enhance soil microbial biomass, nitrogen mineralization, and concentration in maize crops in the nitisols of Upper Eastern Kenya

Published: 19 December 2023| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/jykwv4f2xc.1
Erick Oduor Otieno,
, Milka Kiboi, Andreas Fliessbach, Felix Kipchirchir Ngetich


Integrated soil fertility inputs are pivotal in managing soil microbial biomass nutrients and nitrogen mineralization in croplands. The dataset shows the influence of various integrated soil fertility inputs on soil microbial carbon (MBC), microbial nitrogen (MBN) and microbial phosphorus (MBP), nitrogen mineralization, and nitrogen use efficiency indicators, in Humic Nitisols of Upper Eastern, Kenya. The study was an on-station experiment laid-out in a randomized complete block design with four replications. Conventional (CT) and minimum (MT) tillage methods and soil fertility inputs were integrated and considered as combined treatments which were then replicated four times. In addition to CT (control) and MT without fertility inputs, sole inorganic fertilizer (F), combined maize residue (Cr) with; inorganic fertilizer (CrF), goat manure and inorganic fertilizer (CrGF), Tithonia diversifolia and rock phosphate (CrTiR), goat manure and Dolichos lablab as a legume intercrop (CrGL), and Tithonia diversifolia and goat manure (CrTiG) were executed in the two tillage systems. Maize (Zea mays L.) H516 variety, grown as a test crop, was planted on plots measuring 6 m x 4.5 m. The data was collected during short and long rains in 2020 (SR20) and 2021 (LR21) seasons. The dataset in this study is quantitative which met the normal distribution assumption thus was a good candidate for the analysis of variance (ANOVA). The data was analyzed using R software and means separated using Tukey at p<0.05. The various combinations of inorganic and organic inputs – conventional tillage + maize residue + goat manure + Dolichos lablab intercrop (CTCrGL); minimum tillage + maize residue + Tithonia diversifolia + goat manure (MTCrTiG); and minimum tillage + maize residue + goat manure + Dolichos lablab (MTCrGL) intercrop – increased microbial C, N, and P by 78%, 48%, and 41%, respectively. The integrated fertility inputs technologies also significantly influenced the mineralization of N. The CTCrGL had higher apparent nitrogen recovery and partial factor productivity, than any other treatment. Also, MTCrGL greatly enhanced apparent nitrogen recovery compared to the control.



Forschungsinstitut fur biologischen Landbau Departement fur Nutztierwissenschaften, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology College of Agriculture & Natural Resources, Kenyatta University, Forschungsinstitut fur biologischen Landbau, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology


Soil Ecology, Nitrogen Cycle, Plant Influences on Soil Biodiversity


Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) in the Swiss Programme for Research on Global Issues for Development (r4d programme) and Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), Switzerland