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Nematode Numbers, Biomass and Respiratory Metabolism in a Beech Woodland. Wytham Woods, Oxford

J. Phillipson, R. Abel, J. Steel and S. R. J. Woodell
Oecologia
Vol. 27, No. 2 (1977), pp. 141-155
Published by: Springer in cooperation with International Association for Ecology
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4215382
Page Count: 15
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Nematode Numbers, Biomass and Respiratory Metabolism in a Beech Woodland. Wytham Woods, Oxford
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Abstract

The mean annual population density of nematodes in the litter and upper 6 cm of soil was found to be 368,000 m-2. Mean individual live weight biomass approximated 0.2 μg and mean biomass was calculated to be 74.6 mg live weight m-2. No evidence of seasonal vertical migration between the litter, 0-3 cm and 3-6 cm strata was found and on average these strata contained 21.9, 46.2 and 31.9% respectively of the total number of nematodes recovered. The equivalent biomass values were 26.14, 56.57, and 17.29%. Total numbers revealed a general picture of low densities in spring and high ones in early winter, whereas biomass m-2 was low in late summer - autumn and high in winter. The annual oxygen consumption of the extracted nematodes was calculated to approximate 0.21 1 m-2 (≈4.0 kJ m-2) but when corrected for the effect of individual biomass (weight specific oxygen uptake) was equivalent to an energy expenditure ≈6.0 kJ m-2 which in its turn, because of the efficiencies of extraction, probably accounts for only 87% of the total energy expenditure by the nematode fauna. The nematodes were estimated to be responsible for a minimum of 0.11% to a maximum of 0.13% of the total "soil" respiration. A production/biomass ratio of 5.16 was estimated as was a net population production efficiency of 36.63%.

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