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Competition between endoparasitic nematodes and effect on biomass of Ammophila arenaria (marram grass) as affected by timing of inoculation and plant age

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For more content, see Nematologica.

We studied the effects of intra- and interspecific competition on the abundance of endoparasitic nematodes and assessed the consequences for biomass production of the natural dune grass Ammophila arenaria. Pratylenchus penetrans was limited by intraspecific competition and it suppressed the abundance of Heterodera arenaria, whilst the interaction between H. arenaria and Meloidogyne maritima was neutral. Pratylenchus penetrans and H. arenaria reduced plant biomass, whereas M. maritima did not. Plant biomass was not differently affected by adding one or two nematode species. When added to older plants, numbers of H. arenaria and M. maritima were higher but numbers of P. penetrans were lower, resulting in less reduction of plant biomass. We discuss our results on this natural system with respect to patterns of interspecific nematode competition observed in agricultural systems.


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