Invasive Species Compendium

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Abstract

Linking enhanced soil nitrogen mineralization to increased fungal decomposition capacity with Moso bamboo invasion of broadleaf forests.

Abstract

Plant invasion can markedly alter soil fungal communities and nitrogen (N) availability; however, the linkage between the fungal decomposition capacity and N mineralization during plant invasion remains largely unknown. Here, we examined the relationship between net mineralization rates and relevant functional genes, as well as fungal species composition and function following Moso bamboo (Phyllostachys edulis) invasion of evergreen broadleaf forests, by studying broadleaf forests (non-invaded), mixed bamboo-broadleaf forests (moderately invaded) and bamboo forests (heavily invaded). Fungal species composition and functional genes involved in organic matter decomposition (laccase and cellobiohydrolase), N mineralization (alkaline peptidases) and nitrification (ammonia monooxygenase) were determined via high-throughput sequencing and real-time PCR. Both net ammonification and nitrification rates were generally increased with bamboo invasion into the broadleaf forest, where the net ammonification rate, on average, was 10.8 times higher than the nitrification rate across the three forest types. The fungal species composition and ecological guilds were altered with bamboo invasion, as demonstrated by the increased proportion of saprotrophs but decreased proportion of symbiotrophs in the bamboo forest. The increased net ammonification rate in bamboo forest was positively correlated with both fungal species composition and functional groups, and the fungal lcc gene (for lignin breakdown) abundance explained 67% of the variation of the net ammonification rate. In addition, the gene abundance of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) explained 62% of the variation of net nitrification rate across the three forest types. The increased soil ammonification and nitrification rates following bamboo invasion of broadleaf forests suggest that the bamboo-invasion associated increase in soil N supply provided a positive feedback that facilitated bamboo invasion into broadleaf forests.