Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Effects of Canada goldenrod invasion on soil extracellular enzyme activities and ecoenzymatic stoichiometry.

Abstract

The rapid expansion of Canada goldenrod (Solidago canadensis L.) in China has drawn considerable attention as it may not only decrease vegetation diversity but also alter soil nutrient cycling in the affected ecosystems. Soil extracellular enzymes mediate nutrient cycling by catalyzing the organic matter decomposition; however, the mechanisms by which alien plant invasion may affect soil extracellular enzymes remain unclear. The objective of this study was to investigate the responses of soil extracellular enzyme activities and ecoenzymatic stoichiometry to S. canadensis invasion. Several extracellular enzymatic activities related to carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus cycling were measured using a fluorometric method. Ecoenzymatic stoichiometry was used as a proxy of soil microbial metabolic limitations. S. canadensis invasion appeared to be associated with decreased activities of enzymes and with substantial conversions of microbial metabolic carbon and nitrogen limitations. The changes in the activities of extracellular enzymes and the limitations of microbial metabolism were correlated with the alterations in the nutrient availability and resource stoichiometry in the soil. These findings reveal that the alterations in soil available nutrients associated with S. canadensis invasion may regulate extracellular enzymatic activities and cause microbial metabolic limitations, suggesting that S. canadensis invasion considerably affects biogeochemical cycling processes.