Nematode communities offer interesting possibilities in many ecological and environmental studies. Correct identification is a prerequisite for virtually all nematological research. Proper positioning of nematodes under investigation within the taxonomic framework allows communication about the work, connection to relevant literature, the understanding of nematode community structures, and - last but not least - the publication of results.
This course will be organized by the Centre for Soil Ecology, a cooperation between the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW) and the Plant Sciences group and the Environmental Sciences group of Wageningen University and Research centre (WUR). The course focuses on routine morphology-based identification of terrestrial and freshwater nematodes. During the course, microscopy will be alternated with oral presentations, given by several well-known soil ecologists with different specialisms, like Prof. W.H. van der Putten, Dr. R.G.M. de Goede, Ir. L. Molendijk and Dr. J. Helder. In the past 25 years, the course was developed and given by Tom Bongers, who is now retired, and focus was on the identification of adult nematodes up to species level. With the growing interest in the use of nematodes in environmental studies we now intend to put more emphasis on nematode ecology and applied aspects, such as routine analysis of nematode communities in mass-slides (large slides containing a drop of suspension with hundreds of nematodes). This more applied approach also demands identification of juveniles. Besides identification up to genus level, we will also pay attention to sampling, various extraction techniques, functional groups, food web analysis and calculation of relevant indices.