Nematodes for Soil Quality Monitoring: Results from the RMQS BioDiv Programme


A French programme, “Réseau de mesure de la qualité des sols: biodiversité des organismes” (RMQS BioDiv) was developed in Brittany (27,000 km2 in the western part of France) as an initial assessment of soil biodiversity on a regional scale in relation to land use and pedoclimatic parameters. The nematode community assemblages were compared among the land use categories. Crops were characterised by a high abundance of bacterial-feeders, particularly opportunistic bacterial-feeders belonging to Rhabditidae. Meadows presented a higher total abundance of nematodes than did crops (20.6 ind·g-1 dry soil vs. 13.1 ind·g-1 dry soil), and they were mainly linked to the great abundance of plant-parasitic nematodes, particularly Meloidogyne, but with a very high heterogeneity between sampled plots. The nematodes were most abundant in forests (23.7 ind·g-1 dry soil) and presented the most structured community (SI = 82.2 in forests vs. 58.6 and 55.5 in crops and meadows, respectively). Forests had also the higher fungal component (fungal-feeders and facultative plant-feeders belonging to the Tylenchidae) leading to a significant higher part of the fungal decomposition pathway in forests than in crops. The ability of different taxonomic levels of nematode identifica- tion to discriminate among different cropping systems (i.e., continuous cropping system, crop with meadow in the rota- tion, meadow with crop in the rotation and permanent meadow) was also tested. The family level (48 families identified in these samples) was more efficient than the other taxonomic levels (86 taxa, 17 functional guilds and 6 trophic groups): best statistical significant discrimination for time spent in identification. The relation between the nematode ecological indices, the abundance of nematode trophic groups and the crop management practices were studied. The effects of fertilization, ploughing frequency, use of pesticides and management systems on ecological indices, particu- larly on the Maturity Indices, were observed.

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C. Villenave, A. Jimenez, M. Guernion, G. Pérès, D. Cluzea, T. Mateille, B. Martiny, M. Fargette and J. Tavoillot, "Nematodes for Soil Quality Monitoring: Results from the RMQS BioDiv Programme," Open Journal of Soil Science, Vol. 3 No. 1, 2013, pp. 30-45. doi: 10.4236/ojss.2013.31005.

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The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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