Spatial distributions of nematode taxa in arable and (semi-)natural fields

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingAbstract


Because of their abundance, their trophic diversity and their relatively straightforward extractability, nematodes have a potential as a proxy for the biological condition of soils and sediments. So far the potential of this group is underexploited for technical reasons; the microscopic analysis of nematode assemblages is labour intensive and requires extensive expertise. With the availability of a relatively large molecular framework, it became possible to design molecular assays that allow for the quantitative analysis of individual taxa against complex DNA backgrounds. The availability of high throughput tools to monitor nematode assemblages makes it possible to investigate the spatial distribution of nematode taxa at field level. Experts are aware that some nematodes occur in patches whereas others are more or less evenly distributed over a field. In order to assess the 6th International Congress of Nematology 155 degree of patchiness of individual nematode taxa, twelve fields (4 from each marine clay, river clay and sandy soils) of a single hectare each were investigated in great detail. Using a sampling grid optimized for geostatistic analysis, 96 composite samples were taken from each of these fields. Each of these samples were analysed with 24 molecular assays (corresponding to 23 nematode taxa and one internal control). Preliminary results, visualized as semi-variograms and surface maps, show a great variation in distribution patterns not only on the basis of nematode taxa but also based on soil type. The data that will be presented are essential for the design of scientifically sound sampling schemes for agricultural and natural soil at hectare scale and above.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 6th International Congress of Nematology
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Event6th International Congress of Nematology, Cape Town, South Africa -
Duration: 4 May 20149 May 2014


Conference6th International Congress of Nematology, Cape Town, South Africa


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