Individual study: Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and nematodes are involved in negative feedback on a dual culture of alfalfa and Russian wildrye
Atul N., Hamel C., Forge T., Selles F., Jefferson P.G., Hanson K. & Germida J. (2008) Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and nematodes are involved in negative feedback on a dual culture of alfalfa and Russian wildrye. Applied Soil Ecology, 40, 30-36
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Use mixed pasture
A randomised, replicated, controlled trial in 2004 at the Semiarid Prairie Agricultural Research Centre in Saskatchewan, Canada (Atul et al. 2008) found the total number of nematodes (Nematoda) and nematode diversity in the top soil layer was significantly higher in plots of mixed pasture than monoculture. There were 901 nematodes/100 g dry soil in mixed pasture compared to 681 in monoculture. Fungus-feeding (199 vs. 170 nematodes) and omnivorous (380 vs. 100) nematodes were significantly more abundant in mixed pasture than monoculture. The number of plant parasitic nematodes was not significantly different in mixed pasture than monoculture (48 vs. 30 nematodes/100 g). There were two treatments in four blocks: alfalfa Medicago sativa monoculture and mixed pasture of alfalfa and Russian wildrye Psathyostachys juncea. Plots were 1.8 x 6 m, established in 1997 and seeded at 25 seeds/30 cm in 30 cm-wide rows. Two 5 cm-diameter samples of the top 7.5 cm soil layer were taken in each plot, on three occasions (30 June, 1 and 30 September). Nematodes were extracted using the sieving-Baermann funnel technique.