Winter Survival of Pratylenchus scribneri


  • A. E. MacGuidwin and T. A. Forge


Population densities of Pratylenchus scritmeri in a Plainfield loamy sand soil were sampled from 1 October to 1 May for 4 years. From May to October of each year, the site was planted to Russet Burbank potato and Wis 4763 corn. Percentages of change in population densities of nematodes were computed on the basis of number of nematodes present on 1 October. The decline of P. scribneri between growing seasons was nonlinear, with most mortality occurring in the autumn before the soil froze. Winter survival, defined as the percentage of change in population densities from 1 October to 1 May the following year, ranged from 50 to 136% for nematodes in corn plots and from 15 to 86% for nematodes in potato plots. There was no difference in survival of nematodes of different life stages or among root and soil habitats. Winter survival of nematodes was density-dependent in 3 of 4 years in corn plots and in 1 of 4 years in potato plots. Although predators were present, their abundance was not correlated with the winter survival of nematodes. Cumulative and average snow cover was correlated with the survival of nematodes associated with corn but not with potato. No relationships between other climatic factors and survivorship were detected. Key words: cold tolerance, corn, extraction efficiency, overwintering, potato, Pratylenchus scribneri, lesion nematode, Solanum tuberosum, survival, Zea mays.