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.

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 August 1, 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 August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pyrenees Orphan Bear Cub Gets Brand New Home

Pyrenees Orphan Bear Cub Gets Brand New Home

AFP (Aug. 1, 2014) The discovery of a bear cub in the Pyrenees mountains made headlines in April 2014. Despire several attempts to find the animal's mother, the cub remained alone. Now, the Pyrenees Conservation Foundation has constructed an enclosure. Duration: 00:31 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Greenpeace Ship Arctic Sunrise Free to Leave Russia

Greenpeace Ship Arctic Sunrise Free to Leave Russia

AFP (Aug. 1, 2014) Greenpeace's ship Arctic Sunrise, held in custody by the Russian authorities since September last year, has departed the Russian city of Murmansk en route for its home port of Amsterdam. Duration: 01:04 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

AP (July 31, 2014) Seacrest Wolf Preserve on the northern Florida panhandle allows more than 10,000 visitors each year to get up close and personal with Arctic and British Columbian Wolves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

AP (July 31, 2014) With Florida's panther population rebounding, some ranchers complain the protected predators are once again killing their calves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
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:
from the past week

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