Greener Journal of Biological Sciences, Vol. 6 (1), pp. 009-019, January 2016.
ISSN: 2276-7762 © 2016 Greener Journals
Manuscript Number: 113015164
Migratory Soil Nematode Feeding Group Fauna and Their Spatial Distribution in a Sampled Portion of a Cultivated Farmland within University Of Maiduguri, Maiduguri, Nigeria
*1Ozurumba L.N. and 2Usman D.D.
1Parasitology Unit, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Maiduguri, Maiduguri, Nigeria.
2Department of Biological Sciences, University of Maiduguri, Maiduguri, Nigeria.
Systematic sampling was engaged to determine the migratory soil nematode fauna with respect to functional feeding groups, present in a cultivated farmland within the University of Maiduguri, using two methods which were the sieving and extraction tray methods. This was done to determine the abundance of the various migratory soil nematode feeding groups, their spatial distribution and trophic structure within a measured sampling plot of 9m by 8m (72m2).
Nematodes can be classified into functional feeding groups based on their feeding habits, which can often be deduced from the structure of their mouth parts. Five groups of these soil nematodes were recorded, implying that nematodes that are both beneficial and harmful to plant fauna were present in the sampled area.
Soil nematodes were recorded along all five horizontal sampling plains (coded as SMA-SME). On each of these five horizontal plains – with each containing ten (10) sampling points, some of the sampling points did not record nematodes. Bacteria feeders recorded the highest %abundance of 26.3% while Omnivore feeders had the least % abundance of 11.6%. The combined abundance of bacterial and fungal feeders was 43.2%, which represents the nematode groups that help in re-cycling of nutrients through the provision of nitrogen in the soil. The trophic level stratification based abundance in terms of ratio of soil nematode groups was 7: 2 for ratio of “2nd + 3rd trophic levels” to “1st trophic level”, a value that indicates that the combined activities of soil nematode groups in the 1st and 2nd trophic levels may assist in soil quality maintenance activities which may also help check the activities of those of the 1st trophic level (Herbivore feeders). The major plant parasitizing nematodes (Herbivore feeders) accounted for 23.2% of the total abundance of these migratory soil nematode groups. However, out of the total of 50 sampling points examined from the marked out portion on the farmland, 15 points (30%) recorded no nematodes while 35 points (70%) recorded soil nematodes indicating a significant spatial spread or representation of these migratory soil nematode groups. Thirty percent (30%) of the sampling points recorded two groups of these soil nematodes and 2% recorded three groups. The nature of the compositional aggregations may likely allow for ecosystem related interactions between different soil nematode groups which could be useful for support of soil fertility related activities.
Key words: Aggregates, trophic, spatial, extraction, migratory, ecosystem, nematodes, soil.
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