The Association of a Longidorus Species with Stunting and Root Damage of Loblolly Pine (Pinus taeda L.) Seedlings
A Longidorus species was consistently associated with patches of stunted and chlorotic loblolly pine seedlings at a forest-tree nursery in Georgia. Seedlings from affected areas had poorly developed root systems that lacked lateral and feeder roots. Longidorus population densities in composite soil samples from the margins of patches ranged from 9 to 67 nematodes per 100 cm3 of soil. In a growth chamber experiment, seedling root dry weight decreased with respect to the initial Longidorus dose as well as the final Longidorus populations in containers. The dry root weight of seedlings were 0.117, 0.090, 0.066, and 0.065g in containers initially infested with 0, 50, 100, and 200 Longidorus, respectively. Lateral and fine roots were lacking on seedlings at the highest doses. Populations of Longidorus increased in all containers during the experiment. Damage to loblolly pine seedlings caused by Longidorus is a previously undescribed problem in southern pine nurseries. Proper diagnosis of the problem by nematode testing laboratories may require the use of extraction techniques specific for larger nematodes such as Longidorus.