Biodiversity Science ›› 2019, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (4): 409-418.doi: 10.17520/biods.2019006

• Original Papers • Previous Article     Next Article

Effect of soil nematode functional guilds on plant growth and aboveground herbivores

Zhu Baijing, Xue Jingrong, Xia Rong, Jin Miaomiao, Wu You, Tian Shanyi, Chen Xiaoyun(), Liu Manqiang, Hu Feng   

  1. Soil Ecology Laboratory, College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095
  • Received:2019-01-08 Accepted:2019-03-14 Online:2019-06-05
  • Chen Xiaoyun

Soil multitrophic interactions are the keystone of understanding mechanisms of ecological function. In order to test the effect of nematode functional guilds on rice growth and Nilaparvata lugens abundance, a pot experiment was conducted by growing rice with a complete factorial design manipulating microbivores (microbivorous nematodes), herbivores (herbivorous nematodes) and omnivore-carnivores (omnivore-carnivorous nematodes). Results showed that compared with no nematodes, herbivores significantly increased rice root biomass (P < 0.05) and total shoot phenolic content (P < 0.05). The microbivores significantly increased N. lugens abundance and significantly reduced root biomass (P < 0.05). Omnivore-carnivores promoted rice shoot growth (P < 0.05), decreased the number of N. lugens (P < 0.05). Higher total phenolic content occurred in treatment receiving all three nematode functional guilds, suggesting stronger potential for insect resistance. In conclusion, organisms at higher trophic levels, such as omnivore-carnivores, could promote plant defense and suppress aboveground herbivory via regulating the herbivores and microbivores. Soil biota managements play central roles in control of trophic level diversity.

Key words: soil biodiversity, biotic interactions, plant chemistry, aboveground-belowground, plant defense

Fig. 1

Conceptual framework showing the main pathways of how nematode functional guilds affect brown planthopper via nutrient and defense effects. Solid arrows represent positive impact and dotted arrows represent negative impact."

Table 1

Multivariate linear regression results showing the effects of herbivores, microbivores and omnivore-carnivores abundance on the biomass and chemical composition contents of rice shoots and roots and the abundance of brown planthoppers"

of variation
茎叶 Shoot 根系 Root 褐飞虱数量
Brown planthoppers abundance
Amino acids
Amino acids
植食线虫 H 0.06 0.15 -0.03 0.36** 0.29** -1.15 -0.23 0.21* -0.22
食微线虫 M -0.13 -0.28 0.06 -0.23 -0.19 0.33 -0.34 -0.41* -0.93**
捕杂食线虫 O 0.23** -0.10 -0.04 -0.02 -0.03 0.81 -0.55 0.40** -1.07**
H × M 0.14 -0.23 0.15 0.26 -0.51 2.39 0.41 -0.13 1.48
H × O 0.69 -0.62 0.23 0.57 -0.56* 7.32** 0.89 -0.21 1.46
M × O 0.00 -0.17 0.02 0.56 -0.94 -1.75 1.25 -0.09 2.43**
M × H × O -0.72 0.96 -2.78 -1.20 5.88* -8.33 -1.48 1.31 -3.97
R2 0.5 0.24 0.24 0.53 0.59 0.63 0.11 0.42 0.47

Fig. 2

Effects of soil nematode functional guilds on the biomass, concentrations of soluble sugars, amino acids in rice shoot (A, C, E) and root (B, D, F). Means with different letters indicate significant difference among treatments (Fisher’s LSD test, P < 0.05). Error bars are standard errors."

Fig. 3

Effects of soil nematode functional guilds on the concentrations of phenolics in rice shoot (A) and root (B). Means with different letters indicate significant difference among treatments (Fisher’s LSD test, P < 0.05). Error bars are standard errors."

Fig. 4

Abundance of microbivores (A), herbivores (B), omnivore-carnivores (C) and brown planthoppers (D) affected by the manipulations of different nematode functional guilds. Means with different letters indicate significant difference among treatments (Fisher’s LSD test, P < 0.05). Error bars are standard errors."

Fig. 5

Scatter plots between the abundance of nematode functional guilds and rice biomass, phenolics concentrations, the abundance of brown planthoppers."

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