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Interactions Between Two Species of Panagrolaimus in Agar Cultures

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image of Nematologica
For more content, see Nematology.

Two species of Panagrolaimus were found in agar cultures begun in 1981 with nematodes extracted from a sea birds nest on the island of Surtsey. They were provisionally identified as P. superbus and P. detritophagus. Both species had survived successive subculturing and coexisted on the agar plates for about five years. In order to investigate the conditions for this coexistence, the animals were isolated into monospecific agar cultures. P. superbus appeared to be better than P. detritophagus in establishing and starting population development in cultures inoculated with only a few individuals. P. suberbus initially dispersed more rapidly over the agar surface than P. detritophagus, which had a stronger tendency to aggregate in fresh cultures. Both species reached the phase of exponential growth 14-22 days after inoculation. When cultured sympatrically numbers of both species were lower than when cultured alone. The coexistence could probably be explained by differences in pattern of colonizing the plates and in different competitive ability and survival during different phases of population development.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Zoology, University of Stockholm, S-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden


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