Distribution of Field Corn Roots and Parasitic Nematodes in Subsoiled and Nonsubsoiled Soil


  • J. R. Rich
  • C. Hodge
  • W. K. Robertson


A field trial was conducted for 2 years in an Arredondo fine sand containing a tillage pan at 15-20 cm deep to determine the influence of subsoiling on the distribution of corn roots and plant-parasitic nematodes. Soil samples were taken at various depths and row positions at 30, 60, and 90 days after planting in field corn subsoiled under the row with two chisels and in non-subsoiled corn. At 30 and 60 days, in-row nematode population densities to 60 cm deep were not affected by subsoiling compared with population densities in nonsubsoiled plots. After 90 days, subsoiling had not affected total root length or root weight at the 20 depth-row position sampling combinations, but population densities of Meloidogyne incognita and CriconemeUa spp. had increased in subsoiled corn. Numbers of Pratylenchus zeae were not affected. Subsoiling generally resulted in a change in distribution of corn roots and nematodes in the soil profile but caused little total increase in either roots or numbers of nematodes. Corn yield was increased by subsoiling. Key words: subsoiling, field corn, Zea mays L., cultural practices, Meloidogyne incognita, Pratylenchus zeae, Criconemella spp., root-knot nematode, lesion nematode, ring nematode, nematode ecology.