Diversity and dynamics of soil free-living nematode populations in a mediterranean agroecosystem

Wen Ju Liang, I. Lavian, S. Pen-Mouratov, Y. Steinberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


To determine the effect of agricultural management on the dynamics and functional diversity of soil nematode communities in a carrot field at Kibbutz Ramat Hakovesh, Israel, soil samples from 0-10 cm and 10-20 cm depths were collected during the growing season of carrot. Indices were used to compare and assess the response of soil free-living nematode communities to agricultural management. Eighteen nematode families and 20 genera were observed during the growing period, with Cephalobus, Rhabditidae, Aphelenchus, Tylenchus, and Dorylaimus being the dominant genera/families. During the planting, mid-season and post-harvest periods the total number of nematodes at both depths was significantly lower (P < 0.01) in the carrot treatment than in the control plots, while during the harvest period at both depths total nematodes and bacterivores were significantly higher in the treatment plots (P < 0.01). The values of the maturity index (MI) at both depths were found to be significantly lower in the treatment plots than in the control plots during the pre-planting period (P < 0.05). Overall, WI, MI and PPI were found to be more sensitive indicators than other ecological indices for assessing the response of nematode communities to agricultural management in a Mediterranean agroecosystem.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)204-215
Number of pages12
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2005


  • Agricultural management
  • Carrot-growing season
  • Diversity
  • Maturity index
  • Nematode community


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