Plant-soil feedback as a driver of plant invasions of mixed-grass prairie
Control of invasive plants does not always result in return of a native plant community. The reasons could involve a depleted seed bank, changes in communities of mutualists either aboveground (e.g., pollinators or seed dispersers) or belowground (e.g., arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi), or changes in the identity or quantity of pathogens in the soil. In a series of linked studies, we have examined soil occupancy effects of leafy spurge, smooth brome, and crested wheatgrass and compared them with those of native plants. Our results suggest that invasive plants can change live components of soils in such a way as to reduce the vigor of native seedlings and improve establishment of invasive species. We have also examined germinable seed banks in areas previously infested with leafy spurge and found species composition to be comparable to noninfested sites.
Diane L Larson
- Evidence of qualitative differences between soil-occupancy effects of invasive vs. native grassland plant species
- Leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula) affects vegetation more than seed banks in mixed-grass prairies of the Northern Great Plains
- Soil modification by invasive plants: Effects on native and invasive species of mixed-grass prairies
- Soil-occupancy effects of invasive and native grassland plant species on composition and diversity of mycorrhizal associations