Effects and Dynamics of a Nematode Community on Maize


  • R. McSorley
  • D. W. Dickson


Relationships between nematode density and yield and between final and preplant population levels were examined in small maize plots on sandy soils in north-central Florida. Plant-parasitic nematodes present in the community included Belonolaimus longicaudatus, Criconemella sphaerocephala, Meloidogyne incognita, Paratrichodorus minor, Pratylenchus brachyurus, and a Xiphinema sp. Plant growth--including stand count, grain yield, stalk weight, and size of young plants--often was inversely correlated (P = 0.05) with densities of B. longicaudatus and occasionally with P. brachyurus, but not with densities of other species or with a range of soil variables. More severe losses in grain yields from B. longicaudatus occurred in 1987 than in 1988, although mean preplant nematode densities in February were similar in both years (4.4 vs. 3.9/100 cm³ soil). Final population densities of most nematode species were linearly related (P = 0.05) to densities measured at planting or earlier. These relationships were stronger (higher r²) with the ectoparasites B. longicaudatus and C. sphaerocephala than with the endoparasites M. incognita and P. brachyurus. No significant correlations were found between population densities of different nematode species, Key words: Belonolaimus longicaudatus, corn, Criconemella sphaerocephala, damage function, lesion nematode, maize, Meloidogyne incognita, nematode community, population dynamics, Pratylenchus brachyurus, ring nematode, root-knot nematode, sting nematode, Zea mays.