Effects of sand movement by wind on nematodes and soil-borne fungi in coastal foredunes
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In stabilized dunesAmmophila arenaria (marram grass) degenerates due to a process involving soil-borne pathogens and parasites. This leads to exposure of the sand surface so that wind erosion may create blowouts.Ammophila rejuvenates on the edges of the blowouts, where the sand has accumulated. We tested the hypothesis that such rejuvenation of plants may be related to a reduction of the plant-parasitic nematodes and fungal propagules during the process of wind-driven transport.
Field measurements in blowouts during storm events indicated that the drifted sand contained relatively low numbers of plant pathogenic fungi and plant-parasitic nematodes. A wind tunnel experiment showed that drifting sand may indeed reduce the numbers of fungi and nematodes. Although most fungi were attached to sand particles, they were also affected by the wind-borne sand movement. Sand that had been deposited by wind was made up of a larger proportion of large-sized particles. In our experiment the relatively small particles were lost during transport.
Stirring the soil (part of the forces of natural winds) by mixing for 15 min. with a propeller mixer at 1500 rpm significantly reduced the number of nematodes and fungi. Both sand movement in the wind tunnel and intensive stirring of the sand enhanced the growth ofAmmophila test plants in a bioassay. It was concluded that in wind-blown sand the pathogen inoculum is reduced. Therefore, serious consideration should be given to allowing controlled reactivation of blow-outs to rejuvenate decliningAmmophila in stabilized foredunes.
Implications for dune management are briefly discussed.
KeywordsAeolian transport Ammophila arenaria Blow-out Sand supply Rejuvenation Soil-borne disease
Nomenclaturevan der Meijden (1990) for vascular plants. Nematodes were identified to the genus level according to Bongers (1988) The allocation of nematodes to feeding groups was according to Yeates et al. (1993) Nomenclature of fungi according to Domsch et al. (1980) was used throughout this study except forFusarium Species of the latter genus were identified according to Nelson et al. (1983)
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