Effects of root-feeding nematodes on aboveground net primary production in a North American grassland
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The impact of nematode consumption on aboveground net primary production (ANPP) was addressed by treating two areas of mixed-grass prairie with the nematicide carbofuran. Monthly assessments of shoot biomass and nematode populations were made from each treated and control site for two growing seasons. Seasonal mean density of root-feeding nematodes was reduced approximately 82% by carbofuran. ANPP was significantly greater in the treated plots for both seasons in Site 1 but only for the second year in Site 2. Increases in ANPP averaged 51% in Site 1 and 26% in Site 2. It was estimated that root-feeding nematodes reduced ANPP by 16 times more than they consumed.
Key wordsAgropyron smithii carbofuran grass production Poa pratensis root consumption Schizachyrium scoparium
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