Entomopathogenic nematodes are commonly applied to soil and crops for biocontrol of insects. Typically, when nematodes are applied, recoverable numbers decline quickly. Because ultra-violet light is known to kill entomopathogenic nematodes in the laboratory, many researchers blame poor field persistence on the action of ultra-violet light. We conducted a field experiment to test this hypothesis, using Heterorhabditis bacteriophora applied to turf as a model system. We compared persistence of surface-applied nematodes with subsurface-applied nematodes and found no difference in persistence. Numbers of potential nematode antagonists (mites and collembola) were also monitored. Poor persistence was positively correlated with numbers of mites and collembola in plots where nematodes were surface-applied, but not in plots where they were subsurface-applied.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Agronomy and Crop Science
- Insect Science
- Biological control
- Entomopathogenic nematodes
- Heterorhabditis bacteriophora