Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Plant invasion alters community structure and decreases diversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities.

Abstract

Invasive plants often pose serious threats to the natural biodiversity of invaded ecosystems and in this way are likely to alter ecosystem services. This applies to arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi, in which the invaders have been reported to modify community structure, which facilitates their further intrusion. Information as to the impact of such invasion on AM fungal communities is insufficient and therefore needed. In particular, little is known about how AM fungal communities shift in response to individual invasive species . To ascertain whether invasion changes the structure of indigenous AM fungal communities, we examined changes in AM fungal community composition and diversity in soil and in roots of native neighboring plants in response to incursion of five invasive plant species from the family Asteraceae : Conyza canadensis, Erigeron annuus, Echinops sphaerocephalus, Solidago canadensis, and Symphyotrichum novi-belgii. We found that invasions of tested invasive plant species altered composition of the AM fungal community and reduced the diversity of AM fungi in soil and in the roots of some native plants. Statistical significance of the invasions' effects depended on composition of AM fungal communities in roots of the native plant species and/or site and was not connected with changes in soil parameters. Our results confirm the notable influence of plant invasion on indigenous AM fungal biodiversity and the need for further study in various environmental conditions.