On-line version ISSN 2071-0771
MARAIS, Mariette and SWART, Antoinette. Plant nematodes in South Africa. 11. Checklist of plant nematodes of the protected areas of KwaZulu-Natal. Koedoe [online]. 2013, vol.55, n.1, pp. 01-02. ISSN 2071-0771.
Nematodes are some of the most abundant soil organisms and are an essential part of soil ecology. These organisms are used as indicator organisms and can be linked to soil health. Biological collections contain vast amounts of data, with the National Collection of Nematodes housed at the Plant Protection Research Institute, Agricultural Research Council being no different. During the digitising of the collection a number of unpublished records of plant nematodes reported from protected areas in KwaZulu-Natal were found in the South African Plant-Parasitic Nematode Survey database. A total of 222 plant nematode species belonging to 39 genera were reported from the province, with only 94 of these species reported from the protected areas and 172 and 159 species reported from uncultivated (outside the protected areas) and cultivated areas, respectively. Only nine species, Criconema silvum, Criconema talanum, Helicotylenchus marethae, Ogma dracomontanum, Ogma louisi, Ogma ueckermanni, Paralongidorus deborae, Trichodorus rinae and Xiphinemella marindae were described from protected areas, whilst O. dracomontanum, P. deborae and T. rinae were subsequently also reported from other provinces. Conservation implications: A higher degree of diversity of nematodes was observed in the unprotected areas of the province. The observation suggests that nematode fauna, and by implication also other invertebrates, are not adequately protected.