oa Koedoe : African Protected Area Conservation and Science - Plant nematodes in South Africa. 12. Checklist of plant nematodes of the protected areas of the Eastern Cape Province : checklist
Soil-inhabiting nematodes, including plant-parasitic nematodes, are considered to be the most abundant multicellular organisms in the soil, and of particular interest since they are an integral part of the interlocking chain of nutrient conversions. Because of their abundance and relative susceptibility to both physical and chemical changes, these organisms are used as indicator organisms. The National Collection of Nematodes (NCN) consists of a core collection, the Meloidogyne Collection and the Juan Heyns Collection, which are housed at the Plant Protection Research Institute of the Agricultural Research Council in Pretoria. Vast amounts of biodiversity data are contained in NCN, and the digitising of the collection from 2007 to 2014 yielded unpublished locality information, especially datasets of plant nematodes reported from protected areas of the Eastern Cape. Two hundred and thirty plant nematode species belonging to 36 genera were reported from the Eastern Cape. Of these, only 80 were from protected areas, whilst 163 were from uncultivated areas (outside protected areas) and 148 from cultivated areas. Ten species were described from protected areas, namely Criconemoides silvicola, Meloinema silvicola, Ogma tuberculatum, Paralongidorus cebensis, Paralongidorus hanliae, Scutellonema tsitsikamense, Trichodorus vandenbergae, Xiphinema erriae, Xiphinema ornatizulu and Xiphinema simplex. Only M. silvicola, O. tuberculatum, P. cebensis and S. tsitsikamense were not reported from other provinces, suggesting endemism.
Conservation implications : The diversity of nematode fauna is not adequately protected as most nematode biodiversity in the Eastern Cape lies outside protected areas, with only 80 of the 230 plant-feeding nematode species in the province being reported from protected areas.
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