Ecology of plant and free-living nematodes in natural and agricultural soil.

  title={Ecology of plant and free-living nematodes in natural and agricultural soil.},
  author={Deborah A. Neher},
  journal={Annual review of phytopathology},
  • D. Neher
  • Published 5 August 2010
  • Biology, Medicine
  • Annual review of phytopathology
Nematodes are aquatic organisms that depend on thin water films to live and move within existing pathways of soil pores of 25-100 mum diameter. Soil nematodes can be a tool for testing ecological hypotheses and understanding biological mechanisms in soil because of their central role in the soil food web and linkage to ecological processes. Ecological succession is one of the most tested community ecology concepts, and a variety of nematode community indices have been proposed for purposes of… 

Nematode communities in pine forests are shaped by environmental filtering of habitat conditions

This study provided fundamental knowledge on the formation of nematode community structures that were shaped by environmental filtering and clusterings were significantly influenced by surrounding environmental factors.

Nematode soil community structure and function as a bio-indicator of soil health in fynbos and deciduous fruit orchards

Soil is a fundamental, non-renewable resource in any ecosystem. To uphold food production for increasing global human populations, it is imperative to develop ways in which to sustain healthy

Nematodes as Ghosts of Land Use Past: Elucidating the Roles of Soil Nematode Community Studies as Indicators of Soil Health and Land Management Practices

Soil health is a matter of growing concern because of its degradation due to unsustainable anthropogenic activities over the last few decades. It is maintained by interactions among the components of

Functional Diversity of Soil Nematodes in Relation to the Impact of Agriculture—A Review

Different facets of nematode diversity such as trophic groups, life history traits, variability in body size and/or taxa identities in combination with DNA-based techniques are needed in order to disclose nematodes–soil–ecosystem functioning relationships.

Free-living nematode assemblages associated with maize residues and their ecological significance

This study shows that the decomposition of maize residues influenced FLN composition, mainly the enrichment opportunist bacterivores whose abundance was lower, and suggests that maize residues need to be coupled with a suitable labile organic matter to lead to sustainable, active, and reliable turn-over of maize residue into the soil food web ecosystems.

Soil Nematodes as a Means of Conservation of Soil Predatory Mites for Biocontrol

It is hypothesized that conservation of soil mite predators with available, suitable, and accessible free-living nematodes as prey, will provide better agricultural ecosystem performance and long-range sustainability.




  • G. Yeates
  • Biology, Medicine
    Annual review of phytopathology
  • 1999
Nematode diversity tends to be greatest in ecosystems with least disturbance, and bacterial-feeding nematodes make the greatest contribution to the decomposer food web in more intensively managed ecosystems.

Multiple species-specific controls of root-feeding nematodes in natural soils


This work studied the application of free-living nematode communities as model indicators of physical and chemical disturbance of agricultural soil and assigned relative direct and indirect tillage sensitivity and chemical/nutrient sensitivity ratings to soil genera found in two test data sets.

Soil management to enhance bacterivore and fungivore nematode populations and their nitrogen mineralisation function

We tested the hypotheses that management of the soil food web in the fall would enhance grazing on bacteria and fungi by microbivorous nematodes in the spring, consequently increasing N availability

Plant community development is affected by nutrients and soil biota

The results imply that soil biota may reduce the effects of nutrient supply on plant dominance, which may considerably increase the understanding of the observed plant community patterns.

Could plant‐feeding nematodes affect the competition between grass species during succession in grasslands under restoration management?

It is concluded that plant‐feeding nematodes may contribute to species replacements in grasslands after fertilization has been stopped, albeit to a lesser extent than reduced nutrient availability.