Soil Organic Matter and Management of Plant-Parasitic Nematodes

T. L. Widmer, N. A. Mitkowski, G. S. Abawi


Organic matter and its replenishment has become a major component of soil health management programs. Many of the soil's physical, chemical, and biological properties are a function of organic matter content and quality. Adding organic matter to soil influences diverse and important biological activities. The diversity and number of free-living and plant-parasitic nematodes are altered by rotational crops, cover crops, green manures, and other sources of organic matter. Soil management programs should include the use of the proper organic materials to improve soil chemical, physical, and biological parameters and to suppress plant-parasitic nematodes and soilborne pathogens. It is critical to monitor the effects of organic matter additions on activities of major and minor plant-parasitic nematodes in the production system. This paper presents a general review of information in the literature on the effects of crop rotation, cover crops, and green manures on nematodes and their damage to economic crops.


cover crops; crop rotation; green manure; nematode control

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