Most nematodes are free-living scavengers, herbivores or predators, in soil, fresh water or salt water. Parasitic species living in plants or animals are less common but more notorious. The golden nematode has decimated potato crops in Newfoundland and southern Vancouver Island. Others cause serious damage to timber, field and greenhouse crops. Trichina worm in pigs or bears and dog round worm are familiar animal parasites. Virtually every animal can be infected with several species. Nematodes have been classified variously as an order, class or phylum, and were once considered a class of phylum Aschelmintha.
Author T.F. MACE
Links to Other Sites
Canadian Biodiversity Website
A great information source for all budding biologists. Learn about biodiversity theory, natural history, and conservation issues. From McGill’s Redpath Museum.
The Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids and Nematodes
This website provides information about the scope and contents of the Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids and Nematodes. Check the “Index” link for illustrated descriptions of various taxonomic groups.
Aquatic Invertebrates of Alberta Online Textbook
An online guide to all major groups of Alberta's aquatic invertebrates. Offers illustrated details of the natural history of each group as well as tips on collecting and preserving specimens. A University of Alberta website.