Main Article Content
The present study was conducted in Gapa Valley, Chalt, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan to check the relationship of free-living nematodes in association with soil physicochemical properties. Soil samples from five random sites of pine and potato fields were collected. From each site three composite soil samples were collected, one to determine soil bulk density while two to determine the physicochemical parameters and diversity of free-living nematodes. The nematodes were extracted using modified Baermann’s funnel method and the count showed that the population density of free-living nematodes was generally lower in the pine forest than potato fields. About 156 nematodes belonging to 15 families were recorded in the potato field and 39 nematodes belong to 18 families were recorded in pine forests. Moreover, remarkable differences in physiochemical properties viz., SMC (Soil moisture Content), EC (Electrical conductivity), pH, temperature, soil texture, BD (Bulk density), was found between the pine forest and potato fields. The soil of pine forest was highly acidic with pH 5.90 while the soil of potato fields was near to neutral with pH 6.53. Moreover, temperature, EC and SMC of potato fields were higher than that of pine forests. Additionally, the soil texture of potato fields was silty and sandy loamy soil whereas the soil texture of pine forest was silty but with a high amount of silt content. Finally, Pearson’s correlation showed significant positive and negative correlations between some of the soil physicochemical parameters and nematode population.
Keywords: Free-living nematodes; Physiochemical; Population density; Correlation