Silver nanoparticles reduced the invasiveness of redroot pigweed.
The differences in the growth performance between invasive species and native species might paly a key role in the effective invasion. The extensive use of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) has created the concern of their release into environment. Thus, the possible effects of AgNPs on the growth performance of invading agents are critical to better illustrate the underlying mechanisms for effective invasion. This study aimed to assess the impacts of AgNPs with different concentrations [200 and 400 mg kg (soil)-1] and particle sizes (30 and 70 nm) on the growth performance and competitive ability of well known invasive Amaranthus retroflexus L. (redroot pigweed) and native A. tricolor L. (red amaranth). It was observed that the growth characteristics and supporting ability of redroot pigweed were significantly lower than those of amaranth. Results of the relative competitive intensity index and the relative dominance index also revealed that redroot pigweed exhibited lower competitive ability compared to red amaranth, especially under AgNPs. It can be assumed that the poor growth performance and competitive ability of redroot pigweed might prevent its invasiveness under AgNPs. The supporting ability, leaf photosynthetic area, leaf growing ability, leaf resource use efficiency and acquisition capability, and growth competitiveness of the two plant species were found to be significantly reduced under AgNPs. AgNPs with 30 nm at 400 mg kg (soil)-1 triggered more toxicity on the supporting ability and growth competitiveness of the two plant species than AgNPs with 30 nm at 200 mg kg (soil)-1. In addition, AgNPs with 30 nm imparted high toxicity on the leaf growing ability of red amaranth than AgNPs with 70 nm. However, the particle size of AgNPs did not address significant effects on the growth performance of redroot pigweed. Ag+ solution exhibited stronger toxicity on the supporting ability and leaf growing ability of the two plant species than AgNPs.