Ingham, R.E. and Detling, J.K. 1982. Plant-Herbivore Interations in North America Mixe-Grass Prairie. IV. Effects of Grazing by Prairie dogs and Bison on Populations of Soil Nematodes. Oecologia 61. pp 307-313.
Seasonal population dynamics of soil nematodes were examined from under western wheatgrass (Agropyron smithii) and little bluestem (Andropogon scoparius) from a young prairie dog town and an adjacent uncolonized area from Wind Cave National Park. The Nematode community at both sites was sampled monthly from May through October and differentiated into major classes of Rhabditida, Tylenchida, parasitic Dorylaimida, and nonparasitic Dorylaimida. Tylenchida reached a peak population in June and then declined slowly through the summer. Parasitic Dorylaimida increased more slowly, reaching a peak in mid to late-summer and then slowly decreased into the fall. Rhabditida and nonparasitic Dorylaimida exhibited no apparent seasonal trends. In general, root-feeding nematodes were more numerous from A. smithii while nonparasitic dorylaimida and Rhabditida populations were not different between the two plant species. Rhabditida, parasitic Dorylaimida and Tylenchida (from A. scoparius only) were more numerous on the prairie dog town than from the off town site. Nonparasitic Dorylaimida populations did not appear to be affected by aboveground grazing. Consumption by root-feeding nematodes averaged 14.7% and 6.2% of annual net root production in the upper 10 cm from the prairie dog town and uncolonized site, respectively.