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Invasive plants affect arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi abundance and species richness as well as the performance of native plants grown in invaded soils

Zubek, Szymon, Majewska, Marta L., Błaszkowski, Janusz, Stefanowicz, Anna M., Nobis, Marcin, Kapusta, Paweł
Biology and fertility of soils 2016 v.52 no.6 pp. 879-893
Plantago lanceolata, Reynoutria japonica, Rudbeckia laciniata, Solidago gigantea, Trifolium repens, chlorophyll, fluorescence, habitats, indigenous species, invasive species, mycorrhizal fungi, photosynthesis, physicochemical properties, rivers, secondary metabolites, shoots, soil chemical properties, soil physical properties, species diversity, valleys, vesicular arbuscular mycorrhizae
We studied the effects of invasions by three plant species: Reynoutria japonica, Rudbeckia laciniata, and Solidago gigantea, on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) communities in habitats located within and outside river valleys. Arbuscular mycorrhizal colonization, AMF abundance and species richness in soils were assessed in adjacent plots with invaders and native vegetation. We also quantified the performance (expressed as shoot mass, chlorophyll fluorescence, and the concentration of elements in shoots) of two common, mycorrhizal native plants, Plantago lanceolata and Trifolium repens, grown in these soils. The invasions of R. japonica, R. laciniata, and S. gigantea influenced AMF communities compared to native vegetation, but the changes depended on the mycorrhizal status of invaders. The effects of non-mycorrhizal R. japonica were the most pronounced. Its invasion reduced AMF abundance and species richness. In the plots of both mycorrhizal plants, R. laciniata and S. gigantea, we observed decreased AMF species richness in comparison to native vegetation. The AMF community alterations could be due to (i) depletion of organic C inputs to AMF in the case of R. japonica, (ii) plant secondary metabolites that directly inhibit or selectively stimulate AMF species, or (iii) changes in soil physicochemical properties induced by invasions. The effect of invasion on AMF abundance and species richness did not generally differ between valley and outside-valley habitats. The invasions affected photosynthetic performance and the concentrations of elements in the shoots of P. lanceolata or T. repens. However, the directions and magnitude of their response depended on both species identity and the mycorrhizal status of invaders.