MSc Thesis Topic: Effect of food quality on nematode life

Ecological influence of food source on terrestrial bacterivorous nematodes.

The Soil Food Web: Eat and be eaten. Figure: USDA
The Soil Food Web: Eat and be eaten. Figure: USDA

Food is a source of energy which is used by organisms in different biological processes. However, factors like food availability or its quality can influence those processes in many different ways. In this study we will try to discuss these biological implications investigating how reproduction, growth speed or body dimensions of bacterivorous nematodes change while exposed to different microbial food sources. In nature, a handful of soil might contain thousands of different species of bacteria which can serve as a potential prey for the bacterivorous animals. In fact, nematodes are the most abundant and diverse group of multicultural soil animals and important constituents of soil food web. In spite of this, astonishingly little is known about their dietary choice and feeding behavior.