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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2008

Effects of six grassland plant species on soil nematodes: A glasshouse experiment

Viketoft, Maria


The effects of six individual plant species on the abundance and composition of nematode communities were studied in a glasshouse experiment during 16 weeks. The effect of the presence of plants, the correlation between nematode abundance and plant biomass, the response of plant-feeding nematodes and other nematode groups to different plant species was examined and also whether the effect differed between plant species within a plant functional group. The total number of nematodes increased during the study period in all treatments, although in some treatments, the increase levelled off after 8 or 12 weeks. The identity of the plant species affected both the total abundance of nematodes and the nematode community composition. The number of bacterial-feeding nematodes was greatest under grasses and legumes and was positively correlated with shoot biomass and negatively with root biomass. The response of the plant-feeding nematodes, which differed in abundance under both the investigated legume and the forb species, suggests that the identity of the plant species is more important than the plant functional group. A possible explanation could be related to differences in plant secondary metabolites. Despite some differences in the nematode species pool, the effects of plant species appear quite consistent between the present glasshouse study and previous field experiments. (C) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Achillea millefolium; Festuca ovina; nematode community composition; nematode diversity; nematode feeding groups; Phleum pratense; Rumex acetosa; Trifolium hybridum; Trifolium repens

Published in

Soil Biology and Biochemistry
2008, volume: 40, number: 4, pages: 906-915

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Ecology

UKÄ Subject classification

Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use
Agricultural Science

Publication Identifiers


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