Title

Long-term Disturbance effects in the nematode communties of South Mississippi Woodlands

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-1-2002

Department

Biological Sciences

Abstract

The effects of soil disturbance on the nematode community were assessed at 30 sites on the outer coastal plain of Mississippi, representing four ages since soil disturbance plus a control group of six undisturbed sites. Thirty-five taxa were encountered, dominated in abundance and taxonomic richness by plant and bacterial feeders. Nematodes were more abundant and with a dense herb cover, suggesting limitation by food availability. When sites were arranged as a chromosequence, herb cover, litter depth, soil organic matter, soil moisture, and tree canopy cover increased through time consistent with succession to forest. The abundance of most trophic groups decreased in the 10 to 20 years following disturbance and increased thereafter, a pattern repeated in taxonomic richness of plant and bacterial feeders. Fifty years after disturbance, nematode abundance had not returned to levels observed in control sites. These results suggest that nematode succession following soil disturbance is a gradual process regulated by establishment of aboveground vegetation. There was no evidence of dispersed limitation or facilitation by colonist nematode species.

Publication Title

Journal of Nematology

Volume

34

Issue

2

First Page

88

Last Page

97