Effect of soil nematode functional guilds on plant growth and aboveground herbivores

ZHU Baijing1 XUE Jingrong1 XIA Rong1 JIN Miaomiao1 WU You1 TIAN Shanyi1 CHEN Xiaoyun1 LIU Manqiang1 HU Feng1

(1.Soil Ecology Laboratory, College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095)

【Abstract】Soil multitrophic interactions are the keystone of understanding the mechanisms of ecological function. In order to test the effects of nematode functional guilds on rice growth and Nilaparvata lugens abundance, a pot experiment was conducted by growing rice with a complete factorial design manipulating microbivores (microbivorous nematodes), herbivores (herbivorous nematodes) and omnivore-carnivores (omnivore-carnivorous nematodes). The results showed that compared with no nematode treatment, herbivores significantly increased the rice root biomass (P < 0.05) and total shoot phenolic content (P < 0.05). The microbivores significantly increased the N. lugens abundance and significantly reduced the root biomass (P < 0.05). Omnivore-carnivores promoted the rice shoot growth (P < 0.05) and decreased the number of N. lugens (P < 0.05). High total phenolic content occurred in the treatment receiving all three nematode functional guilds, suggesting stronger potential for insect resistance. In conclusion, the organisms at higher trophic levels, such as omnivore-carnivores, could promote the plant defense and suppress aboveground herbivory via regulating the herbivores and microbivores. The soil biota managements play a central role in the control of pathogen diversity.

【Keywords】 soil biodiversity; biotic interactions; plant chemistry; aboveground-belowground; plant defense;

【Funds】 National Natural Science Foundation of China (41877056, 31170487) Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities of Ministry of Education of China (KYYJ201604; KYYJ201702) SRT Project of Nanjing Agricultural University (1713A02)

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This Article


CN: 11-3247/Q

Vol 27, No. 04, Pages 409-418

April 2019


Article Outline


  • 1 Materials and methods
  • 2 Results
  • 3 Discussion
  • 4 Conclusions
  • References