Role of nematodes in soil nutrient cycling

Bird, G.W., R. Harwood, J. Sanchez, M. Berney, J. Smeenk, and J. Smith

Presented at the All Scientist Meeting (2004-10-08 )

Taxa of the animal phylum Nematoda can be partitioned into guilds that colonize all ecosystems of our planet.  As dissipative consumers, they transform and transport matter and energy throughout ecosystems.  The excretory, secretory and necrotic products of species with soil inhabiting life cycle stages are directly involved in soil nutrient cycling.  The objectives of this presentation are to: 1) describe a conceptual model of the role of nematodes in soil nutrient cycling: with special reference to carbon and nitrogen, 2) present an overview of the literature on the role of nematodes in soil nutrient cycling, 3) provide data on the nutrient mineralization potentials of a broad range of soils associated with Michigan agriculture, 4) demonstrate the impacts of agricultural management systems on associated nutrient mineralization potentials under Michigan growing conditions: including special reference to nematode community structure and 5) illustrate the impacts of selected biotic and abiotic ecosystem disturbances on nematode community structure and nutrient mineralization potentials.  In conclusion, the presentation will use the conceptual model of the role of nematodes in soil nutrient cycling for the identification of knowledge gaps and recommendations for future research priorities.

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