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Composition of soil nematode communities in native birch forests in Central Europe

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Soil nematodes were studied in 27 birch forests in the Slovak and Czech Republics. A total of 66 nematode genera were found. The eudominant nematode genera were Rhabditis and Aphelenchoides, followed by dominant genera Cephalobus, Paratylenchus, Plectus, Helicotylenchus and Aglenchus. Nevertheless, only Rhabditis, Cephalobus, Plectus and Aphelenchoides were recorded in all investigated birch stands. The highest nematode abundance was recorded in the birch forest situated in the Drahanská Highland (the Czech Republic). All nematode trophic groups were present in the investigated birch forests, with bacteriovores being the dominant group, followed by plant-parasitic nematodes, fungal feeders, root-fungal feeders, omnivores and predators. Ecological evaluation of nematode communities based on ecological indices demonstrated that the conditions of the nematode communities in birch forests were rather stable with prevailing bacterial decomposition pathways, which reflects the dominance of bacteriovorous nematodes.

Affiliations: 1: 1Parasitological Institute, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Hlinkova 3, 040 01 Košice, Slovak Republic; 2: 2State Phytosanitary Administration, Šlechtitelů 773/23, 783 71 Olomouc, Czech Republic


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