Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2020

Abstract

Background: Most studies on plant invasion consider the enemy release hypothesis when analyzing native habitats. However, the lower performance of invasive species in the native habitats can be the result of unfavorable soil conditions in the native habitats. While soil biotic and abiotic factors have a potential to restrict the growth of invasive species in their native habitats, our understanding of belowground environment of invasive species in their native habitats is very limited. In this study, we analyzed soil characteristics associated with an exotic invasive plant, Old World Climbing Fern (Lygodium microphyllum), in its native habitat in Australia and the recipient habitat in South Florida. Rhizosphere soil samples from both habitats were analyzed for soil physical, chemical and biological characteristics.

Results: Soil characteristics in the recipient habitats were significantly different compared to those in the native habitats. Soil samples from the native habitat had low soil pH, and high concentrations of elements such as aluminum and zinc which are phytotoxic in acidic soil environments. Additionally, mycorrhizal fungi spores were more diverse in the recipient habitat in Florida compared to the native habitat in Australia.

Conclusion: Overall, our results indicate that growth of an invasive plant in its native habitats could be restricted by the toxic effects associated with strong soil acidity. Results from this study indicate that invasive plants not only escape from their natural herbivores but also from toxic soil environment in their native habitats.

Comments

© 2020 The Author(s). Original published version available at https://doi.org/10.1186/s13717-020-00220-1

Publication Title

Ecological Processes

DOI

10.1186/s13717-020-00220-1

Share

COinS
 
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.