Nematode Assemblages in Native Plant Communities of Molokai, Hawaii


  • E. C. Bernard
  • D. P. Schmitt


biodiversity, biogeography, bog, community structure, cluster analysis, hawaii, island, molokai, nematode, rain forest, survey


Four native plant community types (in decreasing elevation: montane bog, rain forest, wet mesic forest, drier forest) on Molokai were sampled for nematodes. Six samples of 10 cores each were gathered from each community. Nematodes were extracted from 200 cm³ soil by elutriation. All extracted nematodes were counted and identified to species-level taxa. Sixty-seven species were identified among the four plant communities; only eight species occurred in all four communities. Species diversity and evenness were greater in the rain forest and mesic forest than in the bog and the drier forest, but the drier forest and mesic forest had similar species communities. The bog nematode community was not similar to the other three sites. In a presence/absence cluster analysis, all six bog sample assemblages clustered together. The rain forest samples also clustered together but were associated with the mesic forest sample closest to the rain forest edge. Of 11 nematode orders collected, Tylenchida accounted for 40% to 73% of all individuals, followed by Dorylaimida (5% to 17%). Diplogasterida were absent. No plant-parasitic nematodes of known Hawaiian agricultural importance or occurrence were collected in these native plant communities. Calculated nematode densities (76,000 to 321,300/m²) were comparable to those reported for some other Pacific tropical forests.