Population Dynamics of Plant Nematodes in Cultivated Soil: Effects of Combinations of Cropping Systems and Nematicides

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


The population density of Meloidogyne incognita was significantly reduced in land that was fallowed or cropped to crotalaria, marigold, bermudagrass, or bahiagrass. The rate of population decline caused by different cropping systems was influenced by initial population densities. Crotalaria, marigold, and bare fallow were about equally effective in reducing the density of M. incognita below dctectable lcvels, usually requiring 1-3 yr. Bahiagrass and bcrmudagrass required 4-5 yr or longer to reduce M. incognita below a detectable level. A high population density of Trichodorus christiei developed in land cropped 5 yr to bermudagrass, bahiagrass, okra, and marigold. Population densities of Pratylenchus brachyurus and Xiphinema americanum increased in land cropped to crotalaria or bermudagrass. Belonolabnus Iongicaudatus was detected only in land cropped to bermudagrass, The effectiveness of nematicides in reducing M. incognita infection was rclatcd to nematode population density resulting from 5 yr of different cropping systems. Treatment with aldicarb reduced M. incognita below detectable levels following all cropping systems; treatment with ethoprop following all cropping systems except okra, treatment wflh ethylene dibromide following bahiagrass or fallow; and treatment with DBCP only after 5 yr of fallow. Tomato transplant growth was affected .by both cropping systems and nematicide treatment. Transplants grown after crotalaria and bahiagrass were significantly larger than those grown after other crops. Also, treatment with aldicarb and ethoprop significantly increased transplant size. Key Words: crop rotation, chemical control, tomato transplants.

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