Development of Bursaphelenchus xylophilus Populations in Wood Chips with Different Moisture Contents


  • S. Halik
  • D. R. Bergdahl


Bags of Pinus strobus wood chips with moisture contents of 38, 92, 164, and 217% (oven dry weight) were inoculated with Bursaphelenchus xylophilus and incubated at 30 C in order to determine the effect of wood moisture on nematode population development. Nematodes were extracted after 2, 4, 8, and 12 weeks. Population levels were greatest in wood chips with a moisture content of 38% and decreased successively with each higher moisture content. In chips with the three lower moisture contents, populations peaked at 2 weeks, but at 217% moisture, they peaked at 8 weeks. By 12 weeks, nematode populations had declined in wood chips with 92 and 164% moisture contents. The fungi most frequently isolated from the wood chips were Alternaria, Fusarium, Gliocladium, Graphium, Penicillium, Trichoderma, and Mucorales. Key words: Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, moisture content, pinewood nematode, Pinus strobus, wood chip.