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Occurrence and importance of plant-parasitic nematodes in organic farming in Germany

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In an attempt to evaluate the occurrence and economic importance of plant-parasitic nematodes in organic farming in Germany, a survey was conducted with the main emphasis on vegetable and cereal production systems. For vegetables, the survey included quantification and identification of plant-parasitic nematodes in soil samples and a questionnaire for growers querying production factors and damage levels. For cereals, the survey focused on quantification and identification of plant-parasitic nematodes in soil and plant samples. Overall, Pratylenchus and Tylenchorhynchus were the most prominent nematode genera under both production systems with an incidence of over 90% of the samples. Meloidogyne was detected in 51% of the samples in both systems. Other nematode genera showed differences between the two production systems. In production systems with a high frequency of vegetables, Paratylenchus was detected in 56% of the samples and Heterodera in 15%, whereas in rotations with a high cropping frequency of cereals, incidences of plant-parasitic nematodes were 56% for Heterodera, 47% for Trichodorus and 45% for Paratylenchus. Yield losses could exceed 50% on carrots, onions and cereals and were most pronounced on sandy soils. In many cases, nematode problems started 5 to 10 years after conversion to organic farming. The survey indicated that plant-parasitic nematodes are widely spread in organic farming in Germany and can cause severe damage which may result in complete loss of the crop.

Affiliations: 1: Federal Biological Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry, Institute for Nematology and Vertebrate Research, Toppheideweg 88, 48161 Münster, Germany; 2: Bioland Landesverband Nordrhein-Westfalen, Im Hagen 5, 59069 Hamm, Germany; 3: Landwirtschaftskammer Nordrhein-Westfalen, Zentrum für Ökologischen Landbau, Gartenstraße 11, 50765 Köln-Auweiler, Germany; 4: Stiftung Ökologie und Landbau, Himmelsburger Straße 95, 53474 Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, Germany

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/content/journals/10.1163/156854107782331261
2007-11-01
2016-12-09

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