Research: Relationships Between Soil Chemical Status, Soil Nematode Community, and Sustainability Indices


  • L. Porazinska
  • R. McSorley
  • L. W. Duncan
  • R. N. Gallaher
  • T. A. Wheaton
  • L. Parsons


Agricultural Practices, Bioindicators, Citrus Ecosystem, Florida, Irrigation, Nematode Community, Soil Ecology, Soil Minerals, Sustainable Agriculture


The development of more sustainable agronomic practices will benefit from detailed information on major components of the agroecosystem under various farming schemes. In this study, we focused on the long-term effects of different irrigation levels on the status of several macro- and micronutrients in the soil, and their relationship with the nematode components of the citrus soil ecosystem. In addition, the relationship of chemical (nutrient) and biological (nematode) measures to indices of sustainability was examined. Several soil chemical measures (Ca, Mg, Fe, Zn, and pH) were affected (P = 0.05) by water treatments involving different levels of irrigation intensity over time. About 40% of all nematode genera and half of the nematode community indices were significantly correlated with the chemical soil measures. Some of the chemical and nematode indices showed consistent patterns (P = 0.05) related to several components of sustainability in citrus agroecosystems (yield, profitabi