Reflections on Plant and Soil Nematode Ecology: Past, Present and Future

Howard Ferris, Bryan S. Griffiths, Dorota L. Porazinska, Thomas O. Powers, Koon-Hui Wang, Mario Tenuta

Abstract


The purpose of this review is to highlight key developments in nematode ecology from its beginnings to where it stands today as a discipline within nematology. Emerging areas of research appear to be driven by crop production constraints, environmental health concerns, and advances in technology. In contrast to past ecological studies which mainly focused on management of plant-parasitic nematodes, current studies reflect differential sensitivity of nematode faunae. These differences, identified in both aquatic and terrestrial environments include response to stressors, environmental conditions, and management practices. Methodological advances will continue to influence the role nematodes have in addressing the nature of interactions between organisms, and of organisms with their environments. In particular, the C. elegans genetic model, nematode faunal analysis and nematode metagenetic analysis can be used by ecologists generally and not restricted to nematologists.

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