Population Dynamics of Plant Nematodes in Cultivated Soil: Length of Rotation in Newly Cleared and Old Agricultural Land

J. M. Good, W. S. Murphy, B. B. Brodie

Abstract


During a 6-year study of 1-, 2-, and 3-year crop rotations, population densities of Pratylenchus brachyurus, Trichodorus christiei, and Meloidogyne incognita were significantly affected by the choice of crops but not by length of crop rotation. The density of P. brachyurus and T. christiei increased rapidly on milo (Sorghum vulgate). In addition, populations ofP. brachyurus increased significantly in cropping systems that involved crotalaria (C. rnucronata), millet (Setaria italica), and sudangrass (Sorghum sudanense). Lowest numbers of P. brachyurus occurred where okra (Hibiscus esculentus) was grown or where land was fallow. The largest increase in populations of T. christiei occurred in cropping systems that involved millet, sudangrass, and okra whereas the smallest increase occurred in cropping systems that involved crotalaria or fallow. A winter cover of rye (Secale cereale) had no distinguishable effect on population densities of P. brachyurus or T. christiei. Meloidogyne incognita was detected during the fourth year in both newly cleared and old agricultural land when okra was included in the cropping system. Detectable populations of M. incognita did not develop in any of the other cropping systems. Yields of tomato transplants were higher on the newly cleared land than on the old land. Highest yields were obtained when crotalaria was included in the cropping system. Lowest yields were obtained when milo, or fallow were included in the cropping system. Length of rotation had no distinguishable effect on yields of tomato transplants. Key Words: Crop rotation, tomato transplants, Pratylenchus brachyurus, Trichodorus christiei, Meloidogyne incognita.

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