Newswise — Sept. 29, 2017— Organic matter in soil is an important component of soil health. We usually think of dead and dying plant matter as soil organic matter. But another source of organic matter is the decaying bodies of soil-dwelling animals, both vertebrates and invertebrates.

“Nematodes, in particular, are regarded as sentinel organisms that can describe the nature of a soil and its health,” says Lois Taylor, University of Tennessee-Knoxville.

The “Nematode Community Succession: Decomposition Hot Spots” presentation at the Managing Global Resources for a Secure Future ASA, CSSA, SSSA International Annual Meeting in Tampa, FL, will address this important topic. The presentation will be held Monday, October 23, 2017, at 9:05 AM. The meeting is sponsored by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and the Soil Science Society of America.

Taylor’s research studied the development and changes in soil nematodes in an Appalachian hardwood forest. Taylor will discuss her findings, including reduced nematode diversity. “Documenting these patterns in nematode succession will contribute to our understanding of soil ecology responses to nutrient hot spot enrichments associated with carcass decomposition.”

For more information about the 2017 meeting, visit Media are invited to attend the conference. Pre-registration by Oct. 10, 2017 is required. Visit for registration information. For information about the “Nematode Community Succession: Decomposition Hot Spots” presentation, visit  

To speak with one of the scientists, contact Susan V. Fisk, 608-273-8091, [email protected] to arrange an interview.