The animal kingdom includes a very large number of species that have a significant influence on horticulture mainly as pests (see Chapter 14) or as contributors to the recycling of organic matter (see Chapter 18).
Some of the most familiar animals are in the phylum Chordata that includes mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians. Mammal pest species include moles (see p200), rabbits (see p198), deer, rats and mice. Bird pest species are numerous including pigeons and bullfinches, but there are very many that are beneficial in that they feed harmful organisms such as tits that eat greenfly. Less familiar are important members of the phylum Nematoda (the round worms) that includes a very large number of plant disease causing organisms including Stem and Bulb Eelworm (see p229), Root Knot Eelworm (see p230), Chrysanthemum Eelworm (see p230) and Potato Root Eelworm. Phylum Arthropoda are the most numerous animals on earth and include insects, centipedes, millipedes and spiders; many of these are dealt with in the chapter on plant pests (Chapter 14), but it should be noted that there are many that are beneficial e.g. honey bees (see p136) and centipedes, which are carnivorous and many live on insect species that are harmful. Phylum Annelida (the segmented worms) includes earthworms, which are generally considered to be useful organisms especially when they are helping to decompose organic matter (see p321) or improving soil structure (see p311), but some species cause problems in fine turf when they produce worm casts. Phylum Mollusca is best known for the major pests: slugs and snails (see p203).
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