Response of Nematode Communities to Sudangrass and Sorghum-Sudangrass Hybrids Grown as Green Manure Crops


  • A. E. MacGuidwin
  • T. L. Layne


Two cultivars of sudangrass (Piper and Trudan 8) and three of sorghum-sudangrass (Sordan 79, P855F, and P877F) were grown as green manure crops in 1993 and 1994 and compared with sweet corn for their impact on nematode population dynamics. Nematodes were identified to trophic group, order, and to lower taxa when possible. Population densities were determined after 7 weeks of crop growth and 3 weeks after incorporation of green crop residue. Plant-parasitic nematode genera included Pratylenchus, Longidorus, Xiphinema, and Paratrichodorus. The plant-feeder trophic group increased or was maintained on all crops after 7 weeks, at which time population densities were lowest on corn in 1993 and equivalent among crops in 1994. The total number of nematodes in the plant-feeder trophic group did not differ before and after incorporation in 1993 and increased for Piper sudangrass, Sordan 79 and P855F sorghum-sudangrass, and sweet corn in 1994. After incorporation, numbers of bacterial-feeding nematodes increased for all crops in 1994 and for Piper sudangrass in 1993. There were no consistent crop treatment effects on the fungal-feeding, omnivore, and predator trophic groups after incorporation. Key words: control, green manure, nematode, organic amendment, potato, Sorghum bicolor, sudangrass, sorghum-sudangrass hybrid.