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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract -

Responses of Plant Parasitic and Saprophytic Nematode Populations to Composted Municipal Refuse1


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 2 No. 2, p. 264-266

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  1. P. G. Hunt,
  2. C. C. Hortenstine and
  3. G. C. Smart Jr.2



The effective disposal of composted municipal refuse poses important ecological problems. Efforts to recycle this material must be guided by knowledge of its ecological impact upon a natural environment. The influence on nematode populations of incorporating composted municipal refuse in Leon fine sand was investigated over a period of 2 years. This study was a randomized complete block experiment with oat (Avena sativa L.) and sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench) used as test crops. Mineral fertilizer (10-4.4-8.3) applied at the rate of 0.9 tons/ha was compared with compost applied at rates of 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, or 32 tons/ha. Populations of Helicotylenchus spp., plant parasitic nematodes, were highest in the fertilized and lowest in the 8, 16, and 32 tons/ha compost plots. Populations of another parasitic nematode, Criconemoides spp., were not greatly reduced by compost. Populations of cephalobids and rhabditids (saprophagous nematodes) were highest in the soil receiving 32 tons/ha of compost.

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