Non-target effects of entomopathogenic nematodes on the soil nematode community
Article first published online: 1 OCT 2002
Journal of Applied Ecology
Volume 39, Issue 5, pages 735–744, October 2002
How to Cite
Somasekhar, N., Grewal, P. S., De Nardo, E. A. B. and Stinner, B. R. (2002), Non-target effects of entomopathogenic nematodes on the soil nematode community. Journal of Applied Ecology, 39: 735–744. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2664.2002.00749.x
- Issue published online: 1 OCT 2002
- Article first published online: 1 OCT 2002
- Received 23 April 2001; final copy received 14 May 2002
- community indices;
- Heterorhabditis bacteriophora;
- Heterorhabditis indica;
- soil fauna;
- turfgrass ecosystem
- 1There is growing awareness that biological control carries risks as well as benefits, but there are few data on below-ground effects of inundative insect pathogens. We addressed this issue using entomopathogenic nematodes and the soil nematode community in a turfgrass ecosystem as a model.
- 2Application of Heterorhabditis bacteriophora strain GPS11, Heterorhabditis bacteriophora strain HP88 and Heterorhabditis indica strain LN2 significantly reduced the abundance, species richness, diversity and maturity of the nematode community by reducing the number of genera and abundance of plant-parasitic, but not free-living, nematodes.
- 3Our results are the first to indicate selective suppression of plant-parasitic nematodes by entomopathogenic nematodes, H . bacteriophora and H. indica , with no adverse effect on free-living nematodes.
- 4In contrast to the entomopathogenic nematode treatments, trichlorfon (a commonly used insecticide in turfgrass) reduced the number of genera, abundance and diversity of the nematode community by adversely affecting both plant-parasitic and free-living nematodes.
- 5The reduction in abundance and diversity of plant-parasitic nematodes without any adverse effect on free-living nematodes that play a role in nutrient cycling, can be considered as a beneficial non-target effect of entomopathogenic nematodes. The mechanisms causing such an effect need to be elucidated in future studies.