Characterization of nematode colonization and succession in disturbed soil using the Maturity Index

Abstract

Nematode colonization and succession were studied over 60 weeks in field plots which had been disturbed by combinations of fumigation and manuring. It was expected that the Maturity Index, which is based on the composition of the nematode fauna, would decrease after disturbance, and subsequently increase with recovery and succession. The results showed that in all treatments, the initial colonization and growth were due to taxa scaled in colonizer-persister (c-p) group 1, resulting in a low Maturity Index. An increase in this index followed when these taxa were gradually replaced by c-p group 2 which thereafter remained the dominant group. C-p groups 3–5 developed only in the non-fumigated treatment. Manuring caused characteristic changes in the nematode fauna which could be described as a cycle, starting with an increase in enrichment opportunists (c-p 1), which were succeeded by general opportunists (c-p 2) which, in turn, were supplemented with persisters (c-p 3–5). It is expected that the same cycle will be observed as a result of other disturbances that cause temporary increase in food supply.

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Correspondence to Tom Bongers.

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Ettema, C.H., Bongers, T. Characterization of nematode colonization and succession in disturbed soil using the Maturity Index. Biol Fert Soils 16, 79–85 (1993). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00369407

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Key words

  • Nematodes
  • Colonization
  • Succession
  • Maturity Index
  • Disturbance
  • Soil fumigation