Population Dynamics of Plant Nematodes in Cultivated Soil: Effect of Summer Cover Crops in Newly Cleared Land


  • B. B. Brodie
  • J. M. Good
  • C. A. Jaworski


Five nematode species were studied for ability to develop on seven summer cover crops in rotation with tomato transplants grown every third year. Increase of Tylenchorhynchus claytoni, Trichodorus christiei, Pratylenchus brachyurus, Helicotylenchus dihystera, and Xiphinema americanum in newly cleared soil varied with different cover crops. No substantial nematode population increases occurred until the third summer of crop growth. All species except X. americanum and H. dihystera developed best on sudangrass and millet. Crotalaria caused substantial increase of H. dihystera and P. brachyurus but suppressed the other species. Marigold suppressed all species except X. americanum which increased substantially on marigold during the 5th year. Cotton favored rapid increase of T. christiei, and moderate increases of all species except T. claytoni which was suppressed. Beggarweed favored moderate increases of T. christiei and H. dihystera but suppressed the other species. Hairy indigo favored rapid increase of H. dihystera, moderate increases of T. christiei and X. americanum, and suppressed the other species. Number of marketable transplants was reduced after 2 years of sudangrass and cotton; these crops favored increases of T. christiei and T. claytoni. The better cover crops prevented increases of most plant parasitic nematodes in land cropped to tomato, a suitable host. Key Words: Tylenchorhynchus claytoni, Pratylenchus brachyurus, Xiphinema americanum, Trichodorus christiei, Helicotylenchus dihystera, summer cover crops, Crotalaria spectabflis (crotalaria), Gossypium hirsutum (cotton), Panicum ramosum (millet), Tagetes minuta (marigold), Desmodium tortuosum (beggarweed), Indigofera hirsuta (hairy indigo), Sorghum vulgare var. "sudanense' (Sudan grass), Lycopersicon esculentum (tomato).