Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/1/2010
Publication Date: 6/1/2012
Citation: Weiland, G.E. 2012. Soil-pest relationships. In: Cram M.M., Frank M.S., Mallams K.M. Forest Nursery Pests. Washington (DC): USDA Forest Service Agriculture Handbook 680: 16-19.
Technical Abstract: Soil is a living, dynamic body composed of mineral solids, air, water, and organic matter. Although soil characteristics vary greatly throughout the United States of America, certain basic soil properties are important in mediating soil-pest relationships. Some properties, such as soil texture, are relatively fixed. Others, however, can be modified to favor the health of the plant over that of injurious insects and pathogens. The most relevant soil properties that affect plant-pest relationships are soil texture, moisture, temperature, pH, nutrients, and organic matter. Each property is discussed in terms of its impact on plant health, as well as its favorability towards the most common soilborne insects and pathogens in nursery production. Recommendations are provided, as appropriate, for optimal soil characteristics to minimize insect and disease damage.