Interactions between Nematodes and Earthworms: Enhanced Dispersal of Steinernema carpocapsae
AbstractDispersal of the nematode Steinernema carpocapsae (All strain), applied on the top or the bottom of soil columns, was tested in the presence or absence of two earthworm species, Lumbricus terrestris or Aporrectodea trapezoides. Nematode dispersal was estimated after a 2-week period with a bioassay against the greater wax moth, Galleria mellonella. Vertical dispersal of nematodes was increased in the presence of earthworms. When nematodes were placed on the surface of soil columns, significantly more nematodes dispersed to the lower half of the columns when either earthworm species was present than when earthworms were not present. When nematodes were placed on the bottom of soil columns, significantly more nematodes dispersed to the upper half of the columns when L. terrestris was present than when A. trapezoides was present or in the absence of earthworms. Because nematodes were found on the exterior and in the interior of earthworms, nematode dispersal may be enhanced by direct contact with the earthworms. Key words: dispersal, earthworm, nematode, nematode dispersal, Steinernema carpocapsae, Steinernematidae.
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