Nematode Community Composition under Various Irrigation Schemes in a Citrus Soil Ecosystem


  • D. L. Porazinska
  • R. McSorley
  • L. W. Duncan
  • J. H. Graham
  • T. A. Wheaton
  • L. R. Parson


Interest in the sustainability of farming practices has increased in response to environmental problems associated with conventional agricultural management often adopted for the production of herbaceous crops, ornamentals, and fruit crops. Availability of measures of the status of the soil ecosystem is of immediate importance, particularly for environmental assessment and monitoring programs. This study investigated the effects of various irrigation regimes (an example of an agricultural management practice) on the structure of the nematode fauna in a citrus orchard in the sandy ridge area of Central Florida. Ecological measures such as community structure indices, diversity indices, and maturity indices were assessed and related to irrigation intensity. Maturity index was an effective measure in distinguishing differences between irrigation regimes, whereas other indices of community structure were not. Of various nematode genera and trophic groups, only omnivores and the omnivore genera. Aporcelaimellus and Eudorylaimus responded to irrigation treatments. Key words: bioindicator, citrus, community structure, diversity, Florida, irrigation regime, maturity index, nematode, soil ecology, sustainable systems.