Biology and Fertility of Soils

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 5-9

First online:

Influence of sewage sludge and heavy metals on nematodes in an arable soil

  • B. WeissAffiliated withInstitute of Zoology, Technical University
  • , O. LarinkAffiliated withInstitute of Zoology, Technical University

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The abundance of nematodes was investigated in agricultural plots treated in three different ways, the first with no treatment, the second with 300 m3 ha-1 a-1 raw sewage sludge and the third with 300 m3 ha-1 a-1 sewage sludge with the addition of heavy metals. The nematodes were determined down to the genus and were assigned to five feeding groups. Total nematode numbers were highest in the site treated with sewage sludge and heavy metals. The smallest total numbers were found in the control site. The plant-feeding nematode genera showed different patterns of abundance depending on the sludge treatment and heavy metal content. For the mycophagic and bacteriophagic nematodes, numbers increased with the amount of sludge, especially in the sites with a higher heavy metal content. The family Rhabditidae was the most numerous group in the sludge plus heavy metals treatment. In contrast to these findings, the omnivorous nematodes were very rare in the sludgetreated plots and were completely absent in plots treated with sludge plus heavy metals, whereas predatory nematodes were numerous only after the application of sludge alone.

Key words

Nematodes Sewage sludge Heavy metals Pratylenchus spp. Heterodera spp. Aphelenchoides spp. Ecumenicus spp.