Studies on nematodes of dune sands
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
Although nematodes abound in soils little has been discovered about their role in the biology of soils. Dune sands were selected for this study since if this "relatively simple" habitat could be understood it would provide a starting point to an understanding of the vastly more complex biology of agricultural soils. It was thought that the nematode fauna in sand dunes would be depauperate, that the environmental conditions might be simple enough to be understandable, if necessary duplicable, and that their variation might explain variation in the nematode fauna. In an attempt to achieve some understanding of the nematode fauna the following points were considered:- 1. Taxonomic characterisation of the nematode fauna to species level. Although de Man (1880, 1884) described several species of nematodes from the coastal dunes of the Netherlands, the nematode fauna of this environment is poorly known. Clark (1960, 1963) and Killick (1964) have described new species from New Zealand dunes. 2. Examination of the population changes of the species in relation to season, depth and other environmental factors. The majority of population studies have concerned economically important species in agricultural soils. 3. Elucidation of trophic relationships. The trophic relationships of many nematodes are unknown or unsubstantiated. Goodey (1963) gives the essence of the knowledge of the bionomics of each genus. 4. General examination of the biology of "free living" nematodes, aided by comparison between conditions in vivo and in vitro. Because of the supposed simplicity of the biota, physics and chemistry of dune sands comparison of results obtained from cultures with those obtained in the field seem more acceptable than if species from a complex agricultural soil were used.