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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Interaction of Nematodes and Soil Temperature on Growth of Three Tropical Grasses1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 64 No. 4, p. 497-500
    Received: Nov 8, 1971

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  1. F. T. Boyd,
  2. V. N. Schroder and
  3. V. G. Perry2



Yields of several pasture grasses in Florida are seriously reduced by nematodes. This study investigated the relation between soil temperature and growth of grasses.

Three tropical grasses were planted in soil infested with parasitic nematodes and were grown under greenhouse conditions at eight temperature levels. These temperature levels were established in a water-bath consisting of an insulated, copper-lined, wooden tank equipped with electrical heating and cooling controls.

Soil temperatures influenced the amount of plant injury from parasitic nematodes, but the degree of such injury was dependent on the type of nematode present and on the susceptibility of the host plant.

Sting nematodes (Belonolaimus longicaudatus Rau) were most active at soil temperatures between 20 and 34 C. Pensacola bahiagrass (Paspalum notation Flugge) and limpograss [Hemarthria altissima (Poir) Stapf et C. E. Hubb P.I. 299994] produced greatest forage yields when soil temperatures were between 34 and 38 C. At the temperatures tested above 38 C, sting nematodes were greatly reduced, but ring nematode (Criconemoides spp. Taylor) populations were maintained. Forage yields of pangola digitgrass (Digitaria decumbens Stint) were highest when grown at temperatures between 38 and 41 C.

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