Temporal study of natural populations of Heterorhabditid and Steinernematid nematodes in horticultural crop soils

Fernando García Del Pino, Alejandro Palomo

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16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)473-480
JournalFundamental and Applied Nematology
Volume20
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 27 Oct 1997

Keywords

  • Ecology
  • Entomopathogenic nematodes
  • Heterorhabditidae
  • Persistence
  • Steinernematidae
  • Vertical distribution

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