Population Density of Free-Living Nematodes and their Relationships with Some Soil Physicochemical Properties of Alfalfa

Naila Parveen, Sameena Mumtaz, Muhammad Shoaib, Mustansar Mubeen, Aqleem Abbas, Farazia Hassan


The present study was conducted to evaluate the soil’s suitability for the alfalfa crop in Nomal Valley, Gilgit Baltistan (GB), using a variety of physicochemical parameters and free-living soil nematodes as indicators. Ten soil samples from different sites (A1-A10) of the valley were collected in zip-lock plastic bags to test for free-living soil nematodes and physicochemical characteristics. Each sample’s free-living nematodes were extracted using the modified Baermann funnel method and counted using a compound microscope (at 40 and 100X). About 100 nematodes were identified from each sample to the family level. Based on feeding behavior, nematodes were divided into groups. Nematode population densities ranged from 102 to 507. The most prevalent feeding group members were bacterivores, while predators were the least common. Cephalobidae was the most frequently occurring family, which indicates soil’s fertility. Various physiochemical parameters, including soil temperature, pH, electrical conductivity (EC), moisture, bulk density, and texture, were also measured. The ranges for the selected soil parameters were as follows: pH 7.20-7.80, EC 68-252 mS/m, bulk density 0.91-1.37g/cm2, and soil temperature 22-30 ℃. All sites had slit loam soil texture except A-5, which had sandy loam.


Alfalfa; Nematodes; Physicochemical; Electrical conductivity; Texture; moisture; Bulk density

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.33804/pp.006.03.4290


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