The Mesocriconema xenoplax population increased exponentially in a newly planted peach orchard. The rate of increase was greater on Nemaguard than on Lovell rootstock and was reduced by postplant nematicides. Population levels were more stable in an established almond orchard on Nemaguard rootstock. All life stages of the nematode were present year round; lower ratios of juveniles to adults in summer suggested adverse effects of temperature and dry soil. Also in summer, there was a smaller proportion of the population in the upper 30 cm of soil than at greater depths. Nematode dosage, average nematode density multiplied by accumulated degree-days (physiological time) of the sampling interval, was useful in quantifying nematode stress on trees and as an indicator of the nematode management effectiveness. The annual trajectory of the nematode dosage could be determined by two samplings, one in spring and one in fall. A nematode predator, the parasitic fungus Hirsutella rhossiliensis, did not regulate ring nematode populations in the newly planted orchard; a recovery period was necessary for increase in the prevalence of parasitism.
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