Relationship between Cultural Factors and Nematodes on Merion Kentucky Bluegrass


  • Ronald F. Myers
  • Richard E. Wagner
  • Philip M. Halisky


A 2-year study was conducted on Merion Kentucky bluegrass turf (Poa pratensis) to identify potential relationships among seasonal population dynamics of nematodes, chemical applications, thatch, tillering, dollar spot caused by Sclerotinia homoeocarpa, clipping weight, and other factors. Numbers of Tylenchorhynchus maximus determined during June were inversely related to the wet weight of grass from May. One or more monthly counts of Paratylenchus hamatus, Criconemella rusium, and T. maximus negatively correlated with the numbers of spring tillers. Applications of benomyl, used for dollar spot control, decreased numbers of T. maximus and free-living nematodes, and this chemical was associated with acidification of the thatch. Hoplolaimus galeatus levels were associated with an estimated 8% increase in the severity of dollar spot. Key words: Criconemella rusium, dollar spot, Hoplolaimus galeatus, Kentucky bluegrass, nematode, Paratylenchus hamatus Poa pratensis, Sclerotinia homoeocarpa, turfgrass, Tylenchorhynchus maximus.