Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Nutrient enrichment alters impacts of Hydrocotyle vulgaris invasion on native plant communities.

Abstract

Nutrients may affect the invasiveness of alien plants and the invasibility of native plant communities. We performed a greenhouse experiment to investigate the interactive effect of invasion by a clonal herb Hydrocotyle vulgaris and nutrient enrichment on biomass and evenness of native plant communities. We established three types of plant communities (H. vulgaris alone, native plant communities without or with H. vulgaris) under low and high levels of nutrients. Native communities consisted of eight native, terrestrial species of three functional groups, i.e. four grasses, two legumes, and two forbs. Invasion of H. vulgaris had no effect on biomass of the native community, the functional groups, or the individual species. High nutrients increased biomass of grasses, but reduced evenness of the community. High nutrients also decreased the competitive effect, and the relative dominance index of H. vulgaris. Therefore, high nutrients reduced the competitive ability of H. vulgaris and enhanced the resistance of the native community to invasion. The results provide a basis for management strategies to control the invasion and spread of H. vulgaris by manipulating resource availability to support native communities.