Other Contributions: Debilitation of Cacao in Costa Rica by Plant Nematodes

  • A. C. Tarjan
  • M. F. Jimenez


Cacao (cocoa), Theobroma cacao L., seedlings were grown for 7 months in gallon (3.8 liter) cans of soil from 4 locations within a large cacao plantation on the Atlantic coast of Costa Rica. Comparison of these plants with plants grown in an autoclaved mixture of the 4 soils after 7 months showed a significant increase in plant height and weight, stem diameter, and root weight in the plants growing in autoclaved soil. Plant nematodes are implicated as being directly responsible for the decline Hoplolaimus galeatus and Helicotylenchus erythrinae were found to be the dommating nematode species present.