Population Dynamics and Dispersal of Aphelenchoides fragariae in Nursery-grown Lantana


  • Lisa M. Kohl
  • Colleen Y. Warfield
  • D. Michael Benson


Population dynamics of Aphelenchoides fragariae were assessed over three growing seasons and during overwintering for naturally-infected, container-grown lantana (Latana camara) plants in a North Carolina nursery. During the growing season, the foliar nematode population in symptomatic leaves peaked in July each year then remained above 100 nematodes/g fresh weight into late summer. Foliar nematodes were also detected in asymptomatic and abscised leaves. Results suggest that leaves infected with foliar nematodes first develop symptoms at populations of about 10 nematodes/g. Foliar nematodes were detected in symptomatic and asymptomatic plant leaves and in abscised leaves during overwintering in a polyhouse, but the number of infected plants was low. A steep disease gradient was found for infection of lantana plants by A. fragariae on a nursery pad with sprinkler irrigation. When the canopies of initially healthy plants were touching the canopies of an infected plants, 100% of the plants became infected within 11 wk, but only 5 to 10% became infected at a canopy distance of 30 cm. Overwintering of A. fragariae in infected plants and a steep disease gradient during the growing season suggests strict sanitation and an increase in plant spacing are needed to mitigate losses from this nematode pest.