Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Spartina alterniflora invasion has a greater impact than non-native species, Phragmites australis and Kandelia obovata, on the bacterial community assemblages in an estuarine wetland.

Abstract

The invasion of Spartina alterniflora poses a serious threat to the sustainability of native ecosystems worldwide. However, compared with other non-native plants (e.g., Phragmites australis and Kandelia obovata), how Spartina alterniflora invasion influences the community structure of bacteria and their assembly processes and functionality remains elusive. Here, we characterized the diversity, community structure, assembly processes and functional guilds of bacteria underneath five plant species and a bare tidal flat at three soil depths in an estuarine wetland. We found that plant species played a more important role than soil depth in mediating the bacterial community structure. Compared with bare tidal flats, the native species Cyperus malaccensis, rather than Scirpus triqueter, significantly changed the bacterial community structure. However, S. alterniflora invasion increased bacterial alpha diversity and significantly altered the bacterial community structure by enriching Chloroflexi, Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes while reducing Acidobacteria, Nitrospirae and Gemmatimonadetes. The invasion of P. australis and translocation of K. obovata had less pronounced effects on the bacterial community structure. Total carbon, total nitrogen and salinity were the key environmental factors mediating the bacterial community structure. Overall of all the non-native plant species, the invasion of S. alterniflora increased the relative importance of stochastic processes in the assembly of bacterial communities, and shifted the bacterial functional profiles by stimulating sulfur cycling groups and suppressing nitrogen cycling groups. Altogether, our results suggest that S. alterniflora invasion has a greater effect than P. australis invasion or K. obovata translocation on the profiles and assembly processes of the bacterial communities, with important implications for soil biogeochemical processes in coastal wetlands.