Ammophila arenaria benefits from regular burial of windblown beach sand as it allows escape from soilborne pathogens (nematodes and fungi). The present study was done to obtain more insight into the timing and order of migration of the soil organisms towards the newly formed roots. Accordingly, plants were grown in non-sterilized root zone soil, buried by 20 cm of beach sand and harvested periodically during one growing season. Plants were buried in November. After 17 weeks, the internodes of the planted seedlings elongated and again 10 weeks later, in May, new roots began to develop. The majority of plant parasitic nematodes remained in the original core until root formation started in the deposited layer. Juveniles of Heterodera spp. successfully infected the roots, formed cysts and produced an offspring in October, resulting in high numbers of larvae at the end of the experiment. In February, at the first harvest of plants, fungi were isolated from soil and buried shoots in the whole deposited layer, although it was still winter. During the growing season a shift in the community of fungi in soil and buried shoots occurred in both the original core and the deposited layer. In both layers, the plant pathogenic fungi were gradually replaced by saprophytes. As all fungal and nematode species were able to colonize the deposited sand layer within one year, we conclude that both fungi and nematodes in the root zone of A. arenaria are very well adapted to sand deposition. Because of the fast migration rate of both pathogenic fungi and parasitic nematodes, the window for A. Arenaria to escape in time from its soil-borne pathogens seems to be narrow. [KEYWORDS: clonal growth; colonisation; soil pathogens; interactions; Heterodera spp.; sand dunes Plant-parasitic nematodes; breviligulata poaceae; morphology; organisms; decline; growth; dunes]
Original languageEnglish
JournalApplied Soil Ecology
Journal publication date1998

ID: 259865