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Effect of forest and field habitat features on abundance of genera in nematode assemblages

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Abundances of nematode genera were examined in several forest and field habitats located in close proximity in Florida, USA. Effects of selected habitat features were also evaluated, such as tree type, management and presence of litter, grasses or invasive species. Of 37 common taxa evaluated, ten were more abundant in forest and ten in field habitats. Several genera including Acrobeloides, Aphelenchoides and Mesocriconema were common in all habitats. Light management, consisting of mowing of grasses, negatively affected 19 taxa. More genera appeared adapted to closed forest over open forest, and most of these were more common in plots with oak trees or oak litter than in plots with pine. Numbers of Paratylenchus, Plectus and Xiphinema were further increased by the presence of herbaceous plants on the forest floor. When invasive elephantgrass (Pennisetum purpureum) was included in plots with other grasses, numbers of eight genera that typically were common in grass plots were further increased. Alaimus, Cervidellus and Wilsonema were negatively affected by the invasive elephantgrass. Most of the nine genera in guild Ba2 were more abundant in either forest (Acrobeles, Cervidellus, Plectus, Wilsonema) or grass (Eucephalobus, Zeldia) habitats, while Acrobeloides was common and two genera were rare in all habitats. The effects of habitats and habitat features on many different nematode taxa add to our growing knowledge of the ecological habits of free-living nematodes.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Entomology and Nematology, University of Florida, P.O. Box 110620, Gainesville, FL 32611-0620, USA

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2013-01-01
2016-12-03

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