Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Spatial diversity in bacterial communities across barren and vegetated, native and invasive, coastal dune microhabitats.

Abstract

The microbial community composition of coastal dunes can vary across environmental gradients, with the potential to impact erosion and deposition processes. In coastal foredunes, invasive plant species establishment can create and alter environmental gradients, thereby altering microbial communities and other ecogeomorphic processes with implications for storm response and management and conservation efforts. However, the mechanisms of these processes are poorly understood. To understand how changing microbial communities can alter these ecogeomorphic dynamics, one must first understand how soil microbial communities vary as a result of invasion. Towards this goal, bacterial communities were assessed spatially along foredune microhabitats, specifically in barren foredune toe and blowout microhabitats and in surrounding vegetated monocultures of native Ammophila breviligulata and invasive Carex kobomugi. Across dune microhabitats, microbial composition was more dissimilar in barren dune toe and blowout microhabitats than among the two plant species, but it did not appear that it would favor the establishment of one plant species over the other. However, the subtle differences between the microbial community composition of two species could ultimately aid in the success of the invasive species by reducing the proportions of bacterial genera associated exclusively with A. breviligulata. These results suggest that arrival time may be crucial in fostering microbiomes that would further the continued establishment and spread of either plant species.