Alien invasive plants threaten biodiversity, productivity and ecosystem functioning throughout the world. We examined the effect of Fallopia japonica on two native grassland species (Trifolium repens, Lolium perenne). We hypothesized that its negative effects on the native species are dependent on three mechanisms: (i) allelochemicals released and accumulated in soil with a history of invasion, (ii) altered soil biota and (iii) direct resource competition. We measured the response of the native species as the difference in their functional traits when grown under the three conditions. Our results demonstrate that neither allelochemicals nor soil biota from soil with history of F. japonica invasion had measurable effects on either species. Competition with the invader strongly reduced height, biomass and specific leaf area (SLA) of T. repens, while it had a lower effect on L. perenne. Furthermore, our results reveal that F. japonica took advantage of a positive plant–soil and plant– plant interaction. The results show that the prominent mechanism underpinning the invasion success of F. japonica in the grassland was the direct resource competition. This prominent role is also confirmed by the significant interactions between competition, allelochemicals and soil biota from soils with history of invasion of F. japonica on SLA of the native species.

From plant traits to invasion success: Impacts of the alienFallopia japonica(Houtt.) Ronse Decraene on two native grassland species

MINCHEVA, TSVETANA TODOROVA;BARNI, Elena;SINISCALCO, Maria Consolata
Last
2016

Abstract

Alien invasive plants threaten biodiversity, productivity and ecosystem functioning throughout the world. We examined the effect of Fallopia japonica on two native grassland species (Trifolium repens, Lolium perenne). We hypothesized that its negative effects on the native species are dependent on three mechanisms: (i) allelochemicals released and accumulated in soil with a history of invasion, (ii) altered soil biota and (iii) direct resource competition. We measured the response of the native species as the difference in their functional traits when grown under the three conditions. Our results demonstrate that neither allelochemicals nor soil biota from soil with history of F. japonica invasion had measurable effects on either species. Competition with the invader strongly reduced height, biomass and specific leaf area (SLA) of T. repens, while it had a lower effect on L. perenne. Furthermore, our results reveal that F. japonica took advantage of a positive plant–soil and plant– plant interaction. The results show that the prominent mechanism underpinning the invasion success of F. japonica in the grassland was the direct resource competition. This prominent role is also confirmed by the significant interactions between competition, allelochemicals and soil biota from soils with history of invasion of F. japonica on SLA of the native species.
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Reynoutria japonica, competition, specific leaf area, allelopathy, soil biota, Lolium perenne, Trifolium repens
Mincheva, TSVETANA TODOROVA; Barni, Elena; Siniscalco, Maria Consolata
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2318/1549281
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