Hallmann, Johannes; Frankenberg, Andrea; Paffrath, Andreas and Schmidt, Harald (2007) Occurrence and importance of plant-parasitic nematodes in organic farming in Germany. Nematology, Vol. 9 (6), pp. 869-879.
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In an attempt to evaluate the occurrence and economic importance of plant-parasitic nematodes in organic farming in Germany, a survey was conducted with the main emphasis on vegetable and cereal production systems. For vegetables, the survey included quantification and identification of plant-parasitic nematodes in soil samples and a questionnaire for growers querying production factors and damage levels. For cereals, the survey focused on quantification and identification of plant-parasitic nematodes in soil and plant samples. Overall, Pratylenchus and Tylenchorhynchus were the most prominent nematode genera under both production systems with an incidence of over 90% of the samples. Meloidogyne was detected in 51% of the samples in both systems. Other nematode genera showed differences between the two production systems. In production systems with a high frequency of vegetables, Paratylenchus was detected in 56% of the samples and Heterodera in 15%, whereas in rotations with a high cropping frequency of cereals, incidences of plant-parasitic nematodes were 56% for Heterodera, 47% for Trichodorus and 45% for Paratylenchus. Yield losses could exceed 50% on carrots, onions and cereals and were most pronounced on sandy soils. In many cases, nematode problems started 5 to 10 years after conversion to organic farming. The survey indicated that plant-parasitic nematodes are widely spread in organic farming in Germany and can cause severe damage which may result in complete loss of the crop.
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