Soil nematode biodiversity in organic and conventional agroecosystems of Northern Greece
Russian Journal of Nematology
In this study we describe and compare nematode communities in terms of trophic and generic structure, life strategy and diversity, in soils under asparagus cultivation managed conventionally and organically. Natural hedgerows bordering cultivations were also studied as reference systems. The bacterivore/fungivore group, accounted for 80% of total nematode abundance under organic cultivation, whilst phytoparasites increased in abundance in conventional plots resulting in higher plant parasitic index (PPI). The low generic diversity and strong dominance pattern observed under conventional cultivation indicated a stressed soil environment. In the organically managed system diversity was almost as high as in natural hedgerows, with nematode numbers evenly distributed among genera. However, in hedgerows intermediate abundances of bacterial, fungal and plant feeders were recorded, and the maturity index (MI) and PPI were higher than those of the organically managed system, indicating that organic farming resulted in a more vigorous, pre-mature and probably more productive soil rather than in a more 'natural' one. The different impacts of organic and mineral fertilizers are discussed.
Author(s): Tsiafouli, MA; Argyropoulou, MD; Stamou, GP; Sgardelis, SP
Journal: Russian Journal of Nematology