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Nematode community composition in five alpine habitats

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For more content, see Nematologica.

Soil nematodes were studied in five alpine habitats (sedge mat, pasture, peat bog, moraine, and lichen heath) in the Austrian Alps (Obergurgl, Tyrol) from 2001 to 2002. A total of 75 genera within 49 families were found. The mean nematode population density ranged from 80 to 383 individuals 100 g–1 soil and increased during the short alpine growing season. The most abundant feeding groups were bacterial feeders followed by plant-parasitic nematodes. The number of nematode taxa differed only slightly between habitats. Diversity indices (H' =3.7-4.8 based on genera) and maturity indices (MI = 2.7-3.4) were generally high. Nematode community composition of the pasture and the peat bog differed markedly from the other three sites. Nematode data on genera and feeding types yielded a comparable similarity pattern for all sites but site discrimination was better at the genus level.


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