Strip-tilled Cover Cropping for Managing Nematodes, Soil Mesoarthropods, and Weeds in a Bitter Melon Agroecosystem
AbstractA field trial was conducted to examine whether strip-tilled cover cropping followed by living mulch practice could suppress root-knot nematode (Meloidogyne incognita) and enhance beneficial nematodes and other soil mesofauna, while suppressing weeds throughout two vegetable cropping seasons. Sunn hemp (SH), Crotalaria juncea, and French marigold (MG), Tagetes patula, were grown for three months, strip-tilled, and bitter melon (Momordica charantia) seedlings were transplanted into the tilled strips; the experiment was conducted twice (Season I and II). Strip-tilled cover cropping with SH prolonged M. incognita suppression in Season I but not in Season II where suppression was counteracted with enhanced crop growth. Sunn hemp also consistently enhanced bacterivorous and fungivorous nematode population densities prior to cash crop planting, prolonged enhancement of the Enrichment Index towards the end of both cash crop cycles, and increased numbers of soil mesoarthropods. Strip-tilled cover cropping of SH followed by clipping of the living mulch as surface mulch also reduced broadleaf weed populations up to 3 to 4 weeks after cash crop planting. However, SH failed to reduce soil disturbance as indicated by the Structure Index. Marigold suppressed M. incognita efficiently when planted immediately following a M. incognita-susceptible crop, but did not enhance beneficial soil mesofauna including free-living nematodes and soil mesoarthropods. Strip-tilled cover cropping of MG reduced broadleaf weed populations prior to cash crop planting in Season II, but this weed suppression did not last beyond the initial cash crop cycle.
Copyright and Permissions
All material published by the Society of Nematologists (SON), except for papers prepared by United States and Canadian government employees, is copyrighted and protected under the U.S. copyright law. Under the Copyright Act of 1976, the term of copyright for materials registered by an organization is 75 years from the date first published. Before publishing any manuscript, SON requires that authors transfer full and complete ownership of any copyright to SON by signing a JON Page Charge/Copyright Form (.pdf). SON then registers the copyright. Subsequent use of published materials requires written permission from the SON and may be obtained by contacting the current Editor-in-Chief and state where and how the material will be used.
The author warrants that the article is an original work not published elsewhere in whole or in part, except in abstract form, and that the author has full power to make this grant. If portions of the article have been published previously, then the author warrants that permission has been obtained from the copyright holder and the author will submit a copy of the permission release with this copyright transfer form.
SON shall claim no proprietary right other than copyright. Authors and coauthors retain the right to revise, adapt, modify, or otherwise use all or part of the article in future works of the author(s), such as press releases, lectures, and reviews, provided that all such use is for the personal noncommercial benefit of the author(s). All patent rights are retained by the author(s).