chapter  7
16 Pages

Nematode Communities as Ecological Indicators of Agroecosystem Health

In the search for ways to measure the sustainability of agroecosystems, the soil has often been ignored. However, soil supports essential ecosystem functions, such as promoting plant productivity, enhancing water relations, regulating nutrient mineralization, permitting decomposition, and acting as an environmental buffer (Neher,

1999a). The relative health and quality of an agroecosystem’s soil, especially its biological and ecological components, should correlate closely with the overall health and sustainability of the system.