The purpose of this study was to assess the spatial variability of the activity of three hydrolytic enzymes, i.e, urease activity (UAc), alkaline phosphatase activity (APAc), and arylsulfatase activity (ASAc), in pasture topsoils using geostatistics. Enzyme activities along a transect in a 1.35-ha pasture were determined using 77 soil samples from the upper 20 cm of soil. UAc varied from 101.0 to 182.7 mu g N g(-1) soil h(-1); APAc varied from 1.56 to 3.62 mu g-nitrophenol g(-1) soil h(-1); and ASAc varied from 1.50 to 3.26 mu g p-nitrophenol g(-1) soil h(-1). The linear models fit the best semivariogram models for UAc, APAc, and ASAc. Semivariograms for enzyme activities exhibited spatial dependence with ranges of influence of approximately 124.7 in. (c) 2006 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.