Soil Invertebrate Species Diversity and Abundance in Endophyte-Infected Tall Fescue Pastures

  • E. C. Bernard
  • K. D. Gwinn
  • C. D. Pless
  • C. D. Williver


The reduced ability of many herbivorous insects and nematodes to subsist on grasses infected by endophytic fungi is well-documented (Clay, 1989;1991). These effects upon insects are mostly due to the presence of a diverse array of alkaloids and other compounds produced by the fungus-grass symbiosis (Garner et al., 1993; Rottinghaus et al., 1991) but the mechanisms that account for nematode resistance have not yet been elucidated. Despite much research devoted to single-species herbivory on endophyte-infected grasses, little effort has yet been made to understand effects of such symbioses on soil invertebrate communities. The purpose of this review is to analyze recent progress made in the understanding of the role of the endophyte (Neotyphodium coenophialum)-tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) symbiosis in regulation of invertebrate communities, and to suggest fruitful lines of research for the future. Because litter, fermentation, and mineral layers are a continuum and most soil arthropods move within this continuum (Eisenbeis and Wichard, 1987), “soil invertebrates” is used in the broad sense to include surface-dwelling arthropods.


Endophytic Fungus Tall Fescue Ground Beetle Oribatid Mite Soil Nematode 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. C. Bernard
    • 1
  • K. D. Gwinn
    • 1
  • C. D. Pless
    • 1
  • C. D. Williver
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Entomology and Plant PathologyThe University of TennesseeKnoxvilleUSA

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