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Long-term fertilization and cultivation impacts on nematode abundance and community structure in tall fescue turfgrass
  • Benjamin Waldo,
  • Fereshteh Shahoveisi,
  • Mark Carroll
Benjamin Waldo

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Fereshteh Shahoveisi
University of Maryland at College Park
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Mark Carroll
University of Maryland at College Park
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Impacts of long-term fertilization and cultivation were evaluated on nematode communities associated with tall fescue turfgrass following 11 years of treatment applications. Fertilizer treatments of biosolid, synthetic, and plant-based fertilizers and cultivation treatments of 0x, 1x, and 2x aerification passes were applied to randomized and replicated tall fescue plots at the University of Maryland Paint Branch Turfgrass facility in College Park, Maryland. Free-living and plant-parasitic nematodes were identified, enumerated, and categorized into functional groups. Nematode count data were compared using generalized linear mixed modeling with negative binomial distribution and two-way ANOVA was used to compare nematode ecological indices. Biosolid treatments resulted in lower omnivore-predator densities than plant-based fertilizer treatments (P≤0.001) and significantly greater Hoplolaimus densities than plant-based fertilizer plots (P≤0.05). Synthetic fertilizer applications resulted in the greatest Eucephalobus (P≤0.05) and total bacterivore densities (P≤0.001) of all fertilizer treatments. Plant-based fertilizer treated plots had the largest Structure Index (P≤0.05). Cultivation of 1x resulted in fewer total bacterivore densities than 2x (P≤0.01) while omnivore-predator densities were greater in 1x than 0x (P≤0.001). Plant health, as measured by NDVI, was lowest in biosolid treated turfgrass (P≤0.05). These findings suggest that long-term turfgrass management practices can have variable impacts on nematode abundance and community structure in tall fescue and provide insights into ecological impacts of turfgrass management practices.
05 Sep 2023Submitted to Ecology and Evolution
08 Sep 2023Assigned to Editor
08 Sep 2023Submission Checks Completed
03 Oct 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned
18 Oct 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
27 Oct 2023Editorial Decision: Revise Minor