Spatial and temporal distribution of endemic and released entomopathogenic nematode populations in turfgrass

J. F. Campbell, G. Orza, F. Yoder, E. Lewis, R. Gaugler

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59 Scopus citations


Entomopathogenic nematodes (Rhabdita: Heterorhabditidae and Steinernematidae) have been effective as inundative biological control agents of scarab larvae (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) in turf grass. Entomopathogenic nematodes also occur naturally in turfgrass and endemic or inoculated populations may be able to provide effective long-term control. Variation in Heterorhabditis bacteriophora and Steinernema carpocapsae spatial and temporal distribution along transects placed at different turfgrass sites in central New Jersey, USA, was investigated. H. bacteriophora tended to be recovered from fewer sections in a transect than S. carpocapsae, but the two species, overall, did not differ in patchiness of distribution. In one transect with a H. bacteriophora population S. feltiae was also recovered, but the two populations seldom overlapped spatially. In transects with adequate scarab larvae density for analysis, H. bacteriophora density and Popillia japonica larvae density were inversely correlated. This suggests that endemic H. bacteriophora populations may suppress P. japonica populations. In one transect, an epizootic of H. bacteriophora in an undetermined host may have occurred. Edaphic factors were relatively uniform along transects and were, at most, weakly correlated with nematode recovery. Uniform inoculative releases of H. bacteriophora tended to return to patterns of distribution typical of endemic populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalEntomologia Experimentalis et Applicata
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Insect Science


  • Biological control
  • Colonization
  • Edaphic factors
  • Entomopathogenic nematodes
  • Heterorhabditidae
  • Heterorhabditis bacteriophora
  • Japanese beetle
  • Popillia japonica
  • Population dynamics
  • Spatial distribution
  • Steinernema carpocapsae
  • Steinernema feltiae
  • Steinernematidae
  • Turfgrass


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