Feeding by stubby-root nematodes causes the root tip to stop growing, stunting root growth. Lateral roots often emerge from behind the root tips, which are also fed upon. These become stunted and produce lateral roots on their own. Swelling of roots is also common, producing a prolific system of many short, branched, "stubby" appearing roots, which do not explore sufficient soil volume to take up adequate water and nutrients for the plant. Thus, plant tops show water and nutrient stress.