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An initial study of fallow periods on the nematode community in the Sudanese-Sahelian zone of Senegal

An initial study of fallow periods on the nematode community in the Sudanese-Sahelian zone of Senegal

Acta Oecologica 16(1): 77-88

Observations were made on natural fallow areas, disturbed by human activity, located on shallow ferruginous soils in the Nioro du Rip region, Southern Senegal. Twelve important plant-parasitic nematodes occur in this region. Size of nematode populations and number of species decreased with the increase of the fallow period from 1-17 years. When human interference was prevented by fencing for the last 5 years of a 17 year fallow, the number of nematodes decreased at a slower rate than in an unfenced fallow and the number of species increased. Only Helicotylenchus dihystera and Tylenchorhynchus gladiolatus develop similarly under both conditions. Xiphinema parasetariae occurred mainly in older fallows whilst Scutellonema cavenessi was rare. Numbers of these harmful plant-parasitic species were reduced by fencing. Saprophyte populations remained stable under natural fallow conditions, but increased in the fenced area, especially associated with the greater deposition of organic matter near the woody plants. Amongst plant species, Andropogon pseudapricus, in contrast to Pennisetum pedicellatum, was usually associated with large nematode populations.

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