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Title

Cacao agroforestry in southern Belize : effects on soil nematode community structure

Author

Parr McQueen

Date of Award

2019

Document Type

Restricted Thesis: Campus only access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Department

Biology

Abstract

Deforestation and slash and burn agriculture are significant threats to biodiversity and ecosystem services. Cacao (Theobroma cacao) is a shade tolerant crop that can be grown beneath the rainforest canopy rather than in a conventional monoculture. This has been proposed as a more sustainable method of farming, but the impacts of this form of agroforestry on soil biodiversity and function have rarely been investigated. My goal was to study how the diversity and community structure of soil nematodes are impacted by planting the rainforest understory with cacao, in order to determine the overall effects of this agricultural strategy.

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