The dynamics of natural populations of entomopathogenic nematodes in horticultural crop soils were studied via monthly sampling of eight sites in Catalonia (NE Spain) over 14 months. Entomopathogenic nematodes were found at six of the eight sites and they continued to be detected regardless of the agricultural practices carried out at the sites. During the study these sites were ploughed, which destroyed the natural habitat of the nematodes, then left fallow for several months, but this did not have any significant effect on the presence of the nematodes. However, some seasonal fluctuations were observed with lower populations during the hotter summer months. This seasonality also appeared to affect the vertical distribution: the nematodes migrated to deeper layers during summer, presumably to avoid the damaging effects of temperature and lack of humidity. The results of this study show that natural populations of entomopathogenic nematodes are capable of persisting and surviving for a long time in the soil, by adapting to the fluctuating and adverse conditions of their habitat.
|Journal||Fundamental and Applied Nematology|
|Publication status||Published - 27 Oct 1997|
- Entomopathogenic nematodes
- Vertical distribution