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Spatial and temporal distribution of Heterorhabditis indica in their natural habitats of Guadeloupe

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For more content, see Nematologica.

The presence of Heterorhabditis indica in the littoral zone of continental Guadeloupe was assessed by the Galleria trap technique. A total of 309 samples from 192 sampling sites were analysed. Heterorhabditis indica was found in 74 samples from 53 sites (45 beaches and eight limestone cliffs). The ecological characteristics of these places (climate, soil, flora and fauna) were described and the arthropods occupying these locations were tested for their ability to support nematode development. The spatial distribution of H. indica showed that the colonisation of these sites by nematodes is due to a permanent occurrence of patches generally found under the canopy of trees. An annual monitoring (performed in the wet season from 1996-2005) showed that these patches were regularly recovered (10 consecutive years). The population dynamics of H. indica was studied monthly in two sites for 28 months. In both sites, the abundance of nematodes was directly correlated to rainfall. In the dry season, when the soil moisture was lower than 3.5%, nematodes were not detected by the insect traps. The infective juveniles can survive about 6-7 months in such an environment. Field experiments with sterilised soil showed that nematode-free soil is normally recolonised by active migration but recolonisation can also occur when this route is excluded, indicating either infected insects or passive transport (human or animal) as alternative routes.


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