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Title: Influence of habitat on the behaviour of entomopathogenic nematodes
Author: Kruitbos, Laura Marina
ISNI:       0000 0004 2674 2360
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2009
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In seeking new hosts, entomopathogenic nematode foraging strategies are believed to range from sit-and-wait foragers (ambushers) to widely active foragers (cruisers).  This study investigated the behaviour, dispersal and competitive ability of entomopathogenic nematodes of the genera Heterorhabditis and Steinernema in relation to soil habitat. The host finding and competitive ability of Steinernema carpocapsae, an “ambusher” and Heterorhabditis megidis, a “cruiser” in two contrasting soil habitats (sand and peat) showed “habitat-specific” differences in foraging mode between the two species.  In peat, S. carpocapsae outcompeted H. megidis in terms of host finding, whereas the opposite was true in sand.  In the appropriate habitat, both nematodes showed behaviours not predicted by their supposed foraging strategy.  Experiments examining the interspecific interactions between S. carpocapsae and H. megidis also showed significant differences in the population dynamics between the two species in relation to habitat. Nictation behaviour is frequently cited as a host finding strategy in ambush foraging nematodes. The study confirms that ambush foraging species S. carpocapsae and Steinernema scapterisci frequently nictate, but show that habitat is an important factor regulating this behaviour.  This study also demonstrates the ability of the cruise foraging nematode, H. megidis to nictate on habitats not previously examined.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Soil ; Nematoda ; Nematodes