Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Waging war on invasive plant species: Effects of invasives persist even after removal

Date:
August 10, 2011
Source:
American Journal of Botany
Summary:
Invasive species cost an estimated $1.4 trillion annually in their environmental and economic impacts worldwide and are second only to habitat loss as a threat to biodiversity. As scientists struggle with the challenge of controlling invasive species, the question of why some species are so successful continually arises.

Invasive velvetgrass (Holcus lanatus) successfully marching across the Bodega Marine Lab Reserve eliminating native species such as the seaside daisy (Erigeron glaucus) in the California coastal prairie.
Credit: Courtesy of Alison Bennett, University of California, Davis, Davis, California

Invasive species cost an estimated $1.4 trillion annually in their environmental and economic impacts worldwide and are second only to habitat loss as a threat to biodiversity. As scientists struggle with the challenge of controlling invasive species, the question of why some species are so successful continually arises.

Related Articles


Recent research conducted by Dr. Alison Bennett and Dr. Sharon Strauss at the University of California, Davis and Dr. Meredith Thomsen at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse has shed some light on this complex question. Most previous studies addressing the issue of species success have focused on the effect of individual factors, such as release from native enemies, disturbance, or allelopathy, but the interactions among these factors have not been taken into consideration. Bennett and colleagues investigated the effects of four primary mechanisms that potentially contribute to the success of invasive velvetgrass, Holcus lanatus. Their findings are published in a recent issue of the American Journal of Botany.

Bennett and colleagues focused on the effects of H. lanatus on a native daisy, Erigeron glaucus, at the Bodega Marine Reserve in Bodega Bay, California. In a series of greenhouse and field experiments, these researchers studied the effects of direct competition, changes to the soil community, indirect competition due to changes in herbivore feeding, and interference competition due to allelopathy.

They found that H. lanatus clearly hindered the germination, growth, and establishment of E. glaucus. Bennett and colleagues discovered that direct competition between the two species was responsible for much of the negative impact on E. glaucus. H. lanatus primarily effects E. glaucus due to the dense growth of H. lanatus as well as the dense litter layer and high propagule pressure associated with this invasive species.

"Direct competitive effects of H. lanatus are most important during the invasion process, and they have the greatest effect on plant community structure," Bennett said. "Reduction of the direct competitive effects of H. lanatus should aid in native plant community conservation."

However, Bennett and colleagues also found that the presence of H. lanatus altered soil communities. Due to the overwhelming effects of direct competition, this did not have a large role on the current interactions between H. lanatus and E. glaucus, but these changes likely have a negative impact on E. glaucus and other native species after H. lanatus is removed. Invasive plants are known to affect soil communities as a result of negatively affecting arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi, which can have damaging impacts on nearby native plants. Holcus lanatus changes the soil AM fungal community in a manner that reduces the benefit of association with AM fungi for E. glaucus, without reducing the benefit for itself. Bennett and colleagues observed a reduction in germination and growth of E. glaucus in soil in which H. lanatus had previously grown, demonstrating that the effects of H. lanatus may linger even after removal of the species.

"Invasive species can strongly influence plant communities while they are present via multiple mechanisms," Bennett commented, "but the effects of invasive species on plant communities can persist long after they have been removed because they can negatively alter soil communities."

This has important implications for mitigating the effects of invasive species. Bennett's future work may focus on how to revert the negative effects of invasive species on soil communities that persist long after the removal of invasive species.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Journal of Botany. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. A. E. Bennett, M. Thomsen, S. Y. Strauss. Multiple mechanisms enable invasive species to suppress native species. American Journal of Botany, 2011; 98 (7): 1086 DOI: 10.3732/ajb.1000177

Cite This Page:

American Journal of Botany. "Waging war on invasive plant species: Effects of invasives persist even after removal." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110809162017.htm>.
American Journal of Botany. (2011, August 10). Waging war on invasive plant species: Effects of invasives persist even after removal. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110809162017.htm
American Journal of Botany. "Waging war on invasive plant species: Effects of invasives persist even after removal." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110809162017.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

EU Gets Climate Deal, UK PM Gets Knock

EU Gets Climate Deal, UK PM Gets Knock

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) EU leaders achieve a show of unity by striking a compromise deal on carbon emissions. But David Cameron's bid to push back EU budget contributions gets a slap in the face as the European Commission demands an extra 2bn euros. David Pollard reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Tornado Rips Roofs in Washington State

Raw: Tornado Rips Roofs in Washington State

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) A rare tornado ripped roofs off buildings, uprooted trees and shattered windows Thursday afternoon in the southwest Washington city of Longview, but there were no reports of injuries. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fast-Moving Lava Headed For Town On Hawaii's Big Island

Fast-Moving Lava Headed For Town On Hawaii's Big Island

Newsy (Oct. 24, 2014) Lava from the Kilauea volcano on Hawaii's Big Island has accelerated as it travels toward a town called Pahoa. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins