Colonizer-Persister Classes

Cp class (colonizer-persister)



Short generation time; large percentage of body occupied by gonad; small eggs; rapid growth under enriched condition; form dauer larvae in impoverished conditions; mainly bacterivores


Short generation time; relatively high reproduction rates (but slower than cp-1); slower response to environmental enrichment; do not form dauerlarvae; occur in a wide range of environments; tolerant of pollutants and disturbance; mainly bacterial and fungus feeders and a few predators


Longer generation time that cp2 and greater sensitivity to disturbance; bacterial and fungus feeders and some predators


Small dorylaims and large non-dorylaims with a low ratio of gonads to body volume. Long generation time, permeable cuticle. The carnivores actively seek prey, the non-carnivores are less active. Includes large carnivores, smaller omnivores and some bacterial feeders


Large dorylaimid nematodes with long life spans, low reproduction rates, low metabolic activity; gonads small in relation to body volume; low number of large eggs; very sensitive to pollutants and other disturbances. Large omnivores and predators



Bongers, T. (1990) The maturity index: an ecological measure of environmental disturbance based on nematode species composition, Oecologia 83, 14–19.

Bongers, T. and M. Bongers. 1998. Functional diversity of nematodes. Appl. Soil Ecol. 10, 239–251.

Bongers, T. and H. Ferris.  1999.  Nematode community structure as a bioindicator in environmental monitoring.  Trends in Evolution and Ecology 14:224-228.

Ferris, H., T. Bongers, and R. G. M. de Goede.  2001.  A framework for soil food web diagnostics:  extension of the nematode faunal analysis concept.  Applied Soil Ecology 18:13-29.

Ferris, H. and Bongers, T. 2009. Indices for analysis of nematode assemblages.  Chapter 5 in: "Nematodes as Environmental Bioindicators". Editors: M.J. Wilson and T. Kakouli-Duarte. CAB International, Wallingford, UK, pp 124-145.

Sieriebriennikov, B., Ferris, H., de Goede, R.G.M. 2014. NINJA: An automated calculation system for nematode-based biological monitoring. European Journal of Soil Biology 61:90-93.

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