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Changes in nematode communities after manuring in millet fields in Senegal

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For more content, see Nematologica.

Changes in the soil nematofauna community structure were followed in nine millet fields on seven farms in two villages in Senegal during one cropping cycle. Cultivation practices were done by field owners. One plot in each field was divided into two subplots; in one of these, manure (20 t ha-1) was added at sowing. Before the manure input, at mid-cycle and at millet harvest, the structure of the nematode fauna was studied. Soil physico-chemical characteristics, microbial carbon and plant production were measured at sowing and at millet harvest. In the sub-plots where manure was added, millet yield increased by 155%, the mineral nitrogen content of the soil increased by about 45%, while nitrogen flux increased by 150% and microbial biomass by 65%. The significant enrichment of soil by manure led to a 75% increase in total nematode population density at mid-cycle and to a 30% increase at harvest time. The density of opportunistic bacterial-feeding and fungal-feeding nematodes was significantly larger with than without manure. This result is similar to those of comparable studies in temperate areas; however the relative abundance of enrichment opportunists was extremely low with regard to that found under similar conditions in temperate ecosystems. Furthermore, the abundance of the c-p 2 bacterialfeeding nematodes, belonging mainly to the family Cephalobidae, was strongly correlated with soil microbial biomass. The other c-p feeding guilds showed no correlation with nitrogen flux, or soil microbial biomass.


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