The effects of structural heterogeneity on both chemical diffusion and nematode movement are examined with the development of a theoretical model. The model considers three factors affecting nematode movement: soil structure, nematode foraging strategy and chemotaxis. Using a continuous model, we develop a discrete system which allows nematode trails to be simulated in any of the four experimental conditions given by Anderson et al. (1997). We show that structural heterogeneity causes mixed levels of attractant concentration over small areas as well as 'fingering' of the attractant. Soil structural heterogeneity also restricts the foraging strategy of the nematode which then becomes a strategy to avoid structural 'traps'. The effect of localised increases in structural density is shown to increase significantly 'fingering' of the attractant.
|Number of pages
|Fundamental and Applied Nematology
|Published - Apr 28 1997
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Animal Science and Zoology