Effects of intercropping maize with grain legumes and fertilizer treatment on populations of Pratylenchus brachyurus Godfrey (Nematoda) and on the yield of maize
Protection Ecology 62: 153-167
In tropical Nigeria, the population structure of P. brachyurus (Godfrey, 1929) Schm. Stekh. 1941 is significantly affected by food source, cropping systems, the use of NPK fertilizer, the seasons and the years. Reproduction is continuous throughout the year, but most evident at crop growth periods. The low moisture intercrop periods between Jan. and Feb. usually act as natural checks. NPK fertilizer application increases the numbers of P. brachyurus more in soil under monoculture maize plots than in plots sown with maize in association with cowpea, ground nut or green gram. When applied only once annually on the early crop, it improved the early-season maize yield but reduced the yield in the late seasons. The late-crop yield decline is conincidental with increases in the nematode population, and the nematode appears to constitute one of the limiting factors. Growing maize in association with cowpea, groundnut or green gram also increases P. brachyurus populations, with no detrimental consequences for maize yield.