Mesoscale distribution patterns of terrestrial nematodes

C.W. Quist, P.J.W. Mooijman, D.J. Brus, G. Gort, S.J.J. van den Elsen, C. Mulder, A. Termorshuizen, J. Bakker, J. Helder

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Nematodes are diverse and abundant in virtually any soil with representatives in all major trophic layers of the soil food web. Therefore nematodes have a potential as a proxy for the biological condition of soils and sediments. Nevertheless, the use of nematodes to assess the biological condition of soil is not widespread mainly due to the scarcity of informative morphological characters. Detailed insight in the spatial distribution of nematode taxa at mesoscale (= hectare and above) is essential to design sampling strategies with known accuracies. This information would allow to exploit the bio-indicative value of individual taxa. However, determining distribution patterns at mesoscale is easier said than done, because geostatistic analysis requires the analyses of large number of plots and data points. The availability of a range of quantitative (q) PCR assays to detect and quantify multiple nematode taxa, made it possible to investigate nematode taxa in a high-throughput manner. In order to assess the degree of spatial variability of individual nematode taxa across the Netherlands, 12 fields, one,hectare each, were sampled intensively. Using a sampling grid optimized for geostatistic analysis, composite samples were taken from 96 - 116 sampling plots per hectare. All samples (>1,200) were analysed with 25 - 32 qPCR assays, to measure total nematode densities and densities of individual nematode taxa. In total about 35,000 qPCR reactions were run, results were visualized as semi-variograms and surface maps. The data that will be presented give insight in the distribution patterns of multiple free-living and plant-parasitic nematode taxa in different soil types and in arable and semi-natural systems. Results are essential ingredients for the design of scientifically sound sampling schemes at landscape scale.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventBES Annual Meeting - Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 13 Dec 201516 Dec 2015


ConferenceBES Annual Meeting
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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