Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi-weeds interaction in cropping and unmanaged ecosystems: a review.

Abstract

Weeds are the cause of substantial yield loss and extinction of some native species resulting from competition with the associated species for water, sunlight, nutrients and space. Due to the widespread occurrence of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and their important role in communities and ecosystems, the interaction between weed species and AMF might have an important role in ecosystem functioning. The present review characterizes AMF-weeds interactions, targeting natural and crop ecosystems. In agroecosystems, AMF have the potential to contribute to weed control (i) directly by suppressing growth of many weeds belonging to families that are non-mycorrhizal, or (ii) indirectly by enhancing competitive ability of crop species to the detriment of both mycorrhizal and non mycorrhizal weeds. Some advantages conferred by AMF-weed interaction to associated species make evidence of the importance to identify weed species that can play an important role in ecosystem performance. In unmanaged ecosystems, AMF could play a crucial role in invasive plants control through enhancing the competitive ability of local species to the detriment of invasive ones. Additional methodologies are required to manage highly mycorrhizal invasive species.