Consider the complexity of soil
organisms constitute sources of carbon and energy for each other.
The food web is ultimately dependent on the plant; carbon and
energy enters the web from the plant through direct grazing by
herbivores, decompostion of litter and other detritus, and by
rhizodeposition - sloughings and exudates.
- Antagonists of
nematodes occur in many groups of organisms that are components
of the soil food web.
- The interactions of many soil organisms results in biological
buffering or regulation of the nematode population through the
mechanisms of Exploitation, Competition and Antibiosis.
- How can such regulation of a population by the
soil community be measured?
- Given the diversity of the organisms that are interdependent for carbon
and energy in the soil food web, ecologists attempt to categorize them into
groups of taxonomic (e.g., organisms that are nematodes), feeding (e.g.,
organisms that are bacterivores), life-history (e.g., organisms that are
"r-strategists", or functional (e.g., organisms that mineralize nitrogen)
groups. A functional guild is a group of taxa
with similar feeding habits, ecological function and life-history
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