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How metal concentrations could affect enzyme activities: a case study of a range, near Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria

Author Affiliations

  • 1Department of Chemistry, Imo state University, Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria
  • 2Department of Environmental Technology, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria
  • 3Department of Environmental Resources and Technology, Abia State University, Nigeria
  • 4Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Sciences, Niger Delta University, Nigeria

Res. J. Recent Sci., Volume 6, Issue (7), Pages 40-52, June,2 (2017)


Heavy metals released from military exercise and training could affect soil enzyme activity. In this study, five composite soil samples collected near Port Harcourt were analyzed in triplicates for physicochemical properties, heavy metals, and enzyme activities. Data was analyzed to determine the level of contamination and to find out the trend of enzyme activity in the presence of certain heavy metals in the natural environment. Heavy metal pollution index ranged from edge (0.71) to center (1.43) indicating multi-element contamination within the range. Contamination factors showed that cadmium was the most polluting element with a degree of contamination that ranged from edge (35.4) to center (118.7). Lead and copper showed higher values while zinc and copper were only higher than the control. Soil enzymes, dehydrogenase, urease, phenol-oxidase and acid phosphatase showed a negative correlation with heavy metal concentrations. Dehydrogenase with a range of 0.79 - 8.24mg/g dry soil 6h-1 was the most affected while acid phosphatase, 0.42 - 2.11 µMo – p – nitrophenol was the least affected. Results obtained suggest that the activities of shooting range have a negative effect on soil enzyme activity following decreasing metal concentrations from center to edge.


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