Influence of Belonolaimus longicaudatus on Nitrate Leaching in Turf


  • J. E. Luc
  • W. T. Crow
  • J. L. Stimac
  • J. B. Sartain
  • R. M. Giblin-Davis


Belonolaimus longicaudatus, bermudagrass, Cynodon dactylon, nitrate leaching, sting nematode, turfgrass, management, water quality.


Experiments were conducted to quantify the effects of the sting nematode (Belonolaimus longicaudatus) on root reductions and quantity of nitrate (NO3-) leached from `Tifdwarf' bermudagrass in lysimeters. Forty lysimeters were planted with `Tifdwarf' bermudagrass, of which 20 were inoculated with B. longicaudatus and 20 were noninoculated. Root length was compared between treatments at six, 12, and 18 weeks after initiation of the experiments. Turf was fertilized every three weeks, and leaching events were simulated at 21 and 42-day intervals in trial one and trial two, respectively. Leachate was collected, and the quantity of NO3- leached was compared between treatments. Root reductions were observed in lysimeters inoculated with B. longicaudatus at all evaluation dates. Quantity of NO3- leached was greater in inoculated lysimeters at the 18-week evaluation during both trials. This study indicates that nematode damage to turf roots limits root vigor and N uptake, thereby increasing nitrate leaching, adding to water quality concerns.