Nutsedge Counts Predict <I>Meloidogyne incognita</I> Juvenile Counts in an Integrated Management System


  • Zhining Ou
  • Leigh Murray
  • Stephen H. Thomas
  • Jill Schroeder
  • James Libbin


alfalfa, crop rotation, Cyperus esculentus, Cyperus rotundus, interaction, Medicago sativa, Meloidogyne incognita, method, perennial weed, Poisson regression, predictive modeling, purple nutsedge, southern root-knot nematode, yellow nutsedge


The southern root-knot nematode (Meloidogyne incognita), yellow nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus) and purple nutsedge (Cyperus rotundus) are important pests in crops grown in the southern US. Management of the individual pests rather than the pest complex is often unsuccessful due to mutually beneficial pest interactions. In an integrated pest management scheme using alfalfa to suppress nutsedges and M. incognita, we evaluated quadratic polynomial regression models for prediction of the number of M. incognita J2 in soil samples as a function of yellow and purple nutsedge plant counts, squares of nutsedge counts and the cross-product between nutsedge counts . In May 2005, purple nutsedge plant count was a significant predictor of M. incognita count. In July and September 2005, counts of both nutsedges and the cross-product were significant predictors. In 2006, the second year of the alfalfa rotation, counts of all three species were reduced. As a likely consequence, the predictive relationship between nutsedges and M. incognita was not significant for May and July. In September 2006, purple nutsedge was a significant predictor of M. incognita. These results lead us to conclude that nutsedge plant counts in a field infested with the M. incognita-nutsedge pest complex can be used as a visual predictor of M. incognita J2 populations, unless the numbers of nutsedge plants and M. incognita are all very low.