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The Nematode Project is based out of Marlborough, MA. Very little is known about these nematodes, and they are spreading rapidly throughout the Metrowest, into the Cape, and even further north. The goal of this study is to further our understanding about the Litylenchus crenatae nematodes infecting Beech trees in New England. With hope, we can learn enough about them to slow or stop the spread. These nematodes, considered a plant parasite, are suspected to carry out their entire life cycle in the leaf itself. There is, however, little known about how they reproduce, overwinter, spread, or live outside of that. This independent study aims to learn more about: Their life cycle Their reproductive habits and triggers If (and how) they interact with the soil biome in each season Their tolerable environmental conditions at different life stages What predators they have in the ecosystem Why Beech and not other trees? How they interact within the leaf’s local ecosystem (More questions to come, because science.) To gather more data on beech trees, we will be taking soil, bud, and leaf samples at various locations across Massachusetts and comparing them. The goal in the first year is to analyze their presence – and lack thereof in healthy samples – and gather data for comparison. Learn More: