Population Dynamics of Plant-parasitic Nematodes on Cover Crops of Corn and Sorghum


  • R. McSorley
  • R. N. Gallaher


Buildup of plant-parasitic nematode populations on corn (Zea mays), soybean (Glycine max), and sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) were compared in 1991 and 1992. Final population densities (Pf) of Meloidogyne incognita were lower following sorghum than after soybean in both seasons, and Pf after sorghum was lower than Pf after corn in 1992. In both seasons, Pf differed among the sorghum cultivars used. No differences in Pf on corn, sorghum, and soybean were observed for Criconemella spp. (a mixture of C. sphaerocephala and C. ornata) or Paratrichodorus minor in either season. Pf levels of Pratylenchus spp. (a mixture of P. brachyurus and P. scribneri) were greatest after corn in 1992, but no differences with crop treatments were observed in 1991. When data from field tests conducted with corn and sorghum during the past four seasons were pooled, negative linear relationships between ln(Pf/Pi) and ln(Pi) were observed for Criconemella spp. and P. minor on each crop, and for M. incognita on corn (Pi = initial population density). Although ln(Pf/Pi) and ln(Pi) were not related for M. incognita with pooled sorghum data, separate relationships were derived for various sorghum cultivars. Regression equations from pooled data were used to obtain estimates of equilibrium density and maximum reproductive rate, and these estimates were used to construct models expressing nematode Pf across a range of initial densities. Many of these models were robust, encompassing a range of sites, season, crop cultivars, and planting dates. Quadratic models derived from pooled field data provided an alternative method for expressing Pf as a function of Pi. Key words: corn, Criconemella ornata, Criconemella sphaerocephala, cropping system, equilibrium density, Glycine max, Meloidog'yne incognita, nematode, Paratrichodorus minor, population dynamics, Pratylenchus brachyurus, Pratylenchus scribneri, sorghum, Sorghum bicoIor, soybean, Zea mays.