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  • Volume 15 Issue 3
    Flaveria bidentis (L.) Kuntze (Asteraceae) is an annual grass native to South America and has established non-native populations throughout Central and North America, Europe, Africa, Australia, and Asia. Flaveria bidentis spread wildly in China and induced deleterious effects on local agricultural production and ecosystems. Photo taken by Fengjuan Zhang. See Chen et al. in this issue.
    Yu-Long Feng, Daolin Du and Mark van Kleunen
    2022, 15 (3): 425-428.
    Abstract ( 18 )   PDF   Save

    There is a complex interaction between biological invasions and global environmental change. Biological invasions are not only passengers of global change, but can also be major drivers of global change (MacDougall and Turkington 2005). Other components of global change, such as atmospheric CO2 enrichment, global warming, nitrogen deposition, changes in precipitation regimes, habitat fragmentation and land-use change, affect species distributions and resource dynamics of ecosystems, and consequently drive invasion success of many exotic species. On the other hand, invasion by exotic species can also alter basic ecosystem properties, which in turn affect many components of global change. Research on the patterns, processes and mechanisms of biological invasion can shed light on the drivers and consequences of biological invasions in the light of global change, and serve as a scientific basis for forward-thinking management plans. The overarching challenge is to understand the basic ecological interactions of, e.g., invasive and native species, plants and soil, and plants and animals.

    China is one of the countries in the world i.e. seriously affected by biological invasions of exotic species. According to the Bulletin on China’s Ecological Environment in 2019, there are more than 660 invasive alien species in China, 215 alien species have invaded national nature reserves, and 71 of the species have caused and/or potentially cause threats to natural ecosystems. In response, the Chinese Government formulated the Biosecurity Law of the People’s Republic of China in 2020, which has been effective since 15 April 2021. The National Natural Science Foundation of China, the Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China and other government departments have funded many projects related to biological invasions each year, and consequently China has become a major player in research on biological invasions worldwide.

    The Ecological Society of China has established the professional committee of biological invasion ecology, aiming to strengthen the exchange and cooperation among scientists in the related fields, and to promote the development of invasion ecology and to apply the research outcomes in the management of invasive species. The committee has sponsored the International Conference on Biological Invasion and Global Change for four times, and the 4th International Conference was held in Zhenjiang, Jiangsu Province, East China, from 16 to 19 November 2020. During the preparations of the conference, we discussed the possibility to publish a special issue on biological invasion in the Journal of Plant Ecology, and we are very pleased that we got the permission to do so from Prof. Wen-Hao Zhang, the editor-in-chief of Journal of Plant Ecology.

    We solicited 34 manuscripts in total for the special issue, and, after peer reviewing by experts, 20 of them have finally been accepted and included in the special issue. These 20 papers cover a wide range of spatial extents, from laboratory to the global scale, multiple methodologies, from laboratory and/or field experiments to modelling, and various research themes, including the patterns, processes, impacts and mechanisms of biological invasions. Eight papers on invasions also address other topics of global change, such as global warming, nitrogen deposition, atmospheric CO2 enrichment, rainfall variation and environmental pollutant (Fig. 1; Hu et al. 2022; Li et al. 2022a, 2022b; Liu et al. 2022a, 2022b; Lu et al. 2022a, 2022b; Yu et al. 2022). Five papers address biogeographic patterns (Binama and Müller 2022; Li et al. 2022c; Liu et al. 2022b; Yuan et al. 2022; Zhang et al. 2022). Eight papers deal with the effects of other biota on biological invasions, e.g. herbivores and soil microbes, including arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (Chen et al. 2022; Huang et al. 2022; Kong et al. 2022; Li et al. 2022c; Liu et al. 2022a, 2022b; Lu et al. 2022a; Yuan et al. 2022). Five papers report on differences between invasive and native plant species (Huang et al. 2022; Liu et al. 2022a; Lu et al. 2022a, 2022b; Yu et al. 2022). Three papers address the impacts of exotic plant species (Hu et al. 2022; Sun et al. 2022a, 2022b). Two papers focus on clonal integration of invasive plants (Pu et al. 2022; Qi et al. 2022), and two consider native plant diversity or relative abundance of invasive species (Pu et al. 2022; Xue et al. 2022). Several of those papers focus on multiple of the topics mentioned above. For example, three of the papers each address three of the topics mentioned above (Liu et al. 2022a, 2022b; Lu et al. 2022a).

    Figure 1:
    The six main topics (circles with blue background) and the papers (circle with yellow background) associated with them in this special issue.

    The six main topics (circles with blue background) and the papers (circle with yellow background) associated with them in this special issue.

    Figure 1:
    The six main topics (circles with blue background) and the papers (circle with yellow background) associated with them in this special issue.

    The six main topics (circles with blue background) and the papers (circle with yellow background) associated with them in this special issue.

    We are grateful to the editorial team of Journal of Plant Ecology, particularly to Wen-Hao Zhang, Bernhard Schmid and Li-Juan Liu, for giving us the opportunity to organize this special issue. The publication of this special issue would not have been possible without their support. We are also grateful to the authors of the manuscripts, both the accepted and rejected ones. We sincerely hope that this special issue will advance our mechanistic understanding of biological invasions under global change. We also hope that it will encourage more people and organizations to pay attention to the issue of biological invasions, and that it will contribute to improvement of the management of invasive alien species. Last but not least, we hope that this special issue will increase the readership of the journal, and that more people will participate in the successive conference.

    Jian Li, Zhanrui Leng, Yueming Wu, Yizhou Du, Zhicong Dai, Asim Biswas, Xiaojun Zheng, Guanlin Li, Esawy Kasem Mahmoud, Hui Jia and Daolin Du
    2022, 15 (3): 429-436.
    Abstract ( 33 )   PDF   Save

    Global changes have altered the distribution pattern of the plant communities, including invasive species. Anthropogenic contamination may reduce native plant resistance to the invasive species. Thus, the focus of the current review is on the contaminant biogeochemical behavior among native plants, invasive species and the soil within the plant–soil ecosystem to improve our understanding of the interactions between invasive plants and environmental stressors. Our studies together with synthesis of the literature showed that (i) the impacts of invasive species on environmental stress were heterogeneous, (ii) the size of the impact was variable and (iii) the influence types were multidirectional even within the same impact type. However, invasive plants showed self-protective mechanisms when exposed to heavy metals (HMs) and provided either positive or negative influence on the bioavailability and toxicity of HMs. On the other hand, HMs may favor plant invasion due to the widespread higher tolerance of invasive plants to HMs together with the ‘escape behavior’ of native plants when exposed to toxic HM pollution. However, there has been no consensus on whether elemental compositions of invasive plants are different from the natives in the polluted regions. A quantitative research comparing plant, litter and soil contaminant contents between native plants and the invaders in a global context is an indispensable research focus in the future.

    Research Articles
    Xiu-Rong Lu, Wei-Wei Feng, Wen-Jun Wang, Ji-Xin Chen, Jian-Kun Sun, Bo Qu, Ming-Chao Liu and Yu-Long Feng
    2022, 15 (3): 437-449.
    Abstract ( 20 )   PDF   Save
    Global changes such as atmospheric CO2 enrichment often facilitate exotic plant invasions and alter soil arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) community. However, it is still unclear whether the effects of CO2 enrichment on exotic plant invasions are associated with its effects on root-AMF symbiosis of invasive and native plants. To address this issue, the annual invasive plant Xanthium strumarium and two phylogenetically related annual natives were compared under ambient and elevated CO2 concentrations for three consecutive years. Atmospheric CO2 enrichment increased AMF colonization rates for the species only in few cases, and the invader did not benefit more from CO2 enrichment in terms of AMF colonization. Under ambient CO2 concentration, however, the invader had a higher AMF colonization rate than the natives in the first year of the study, which disappeared in the second and third year of the study due to the increase of AMF colonization rates in the natives but not in the invader. The influences of species, CO2 concentrations and planting year on AMF colonization were associated with their effects on both soil nutrient and AMF community, and the former may be more important as it also influenced the latter. Our results indicate that the invader could more quickly form symbiosis with soil AMF, contributing to adaptation and occupation of new habitats, and that it is necessary to consider the roles of AMF and the effects of time when determining the effects of global changes such as atmospheric CO2 enrichment on exotic plant invasions.
    Zhen Liu, Hongwei Yu, Xiao Sun and Jianqing Ding
    2022, 15 (3): 450-460.
    Abstract ( 44 )   PDF   Save
    Climatic warming affects plant growth and physiology, yet how warming alters chemistry in invasive plants and indirectly affects herbivorous insects remains largely unknown. Here, we explored warming-induced changes in leaf chemistry of the invasive plant Alternanthera philoxeroides and its native congener Alternanthera sessilis, and further examined how these changes affected the performance of the herbivores, Cassida piperata and Spodoptera litura. We conducted a simulated warming experiment to address its effects on 13 leaf chemical traits of A. philoxeroides and A. sessilis. We measured growth and development time of two herbivores reared on plants from warming or ambient controls. Warming significantly affected leaf chemistry composition for both the invasive and native Alternanthera. Warming decreased nitrogen concentration in A. philoxeroides and increased total flavonoid and total phenol concentration in A. sessilis. The effects of warming on nutrients (i.e. fructose, sucrose, total soluble sugar and starch) varied with individual chemicals and plant species. Weight of C. piperata pupal and S. litura larval reared on warming-treated A. sessilis significantly decreased compared with non-warmed control, and a similar pattern was observed for weight of S. litura larval feeding on warming-treated A. philoxeroides. In addition, warming-treated A. sessilis significantly prolonged larval development time of S. litura. These results indicate that warming can directly affect the leaf chemistry in both invasive plant and its native congener, but these effects vary by species. Such differences in warming-induced changes in plant chemistry could indirectly affect herbivorous insects associated with the invasive and native plants.
    Mu Liu, Fang Zhou, Xiaoyun Pan, Zhijie Zhang and Bo Li
    2022, 15 (3): 461-472.
    Abstract ( 59 )   PDF   Save

    Plants growing in nutrient-rich environment are predicted to be less defended than conspecifics under nutrient limitation. However, less is known about the effects of nutrient levels on tolerance and induced resistance, and whether the effects differ between native and introduced populations of invasive plants. We performed a greenhouse experiment with introduced (the USA) and native (Argentina) genotypes of Alternanthera philoxeroides in order to study the effects of soil nitrogen levels on plant growth, constitutive and herbivore (Agasicles hygrophila)-induced chemical defense, and herbivory tolerance. We measured total biomass, elongation rate (as proxy of growth rate), carbon and nitrogen, and the concentration of triterpenoid saponins (defensive chemicals) in leaves and roots. Constitutive resistance (+33% higher leaf triterpenoid saponins in control treatment at low nitrogen level) and tolerance [less decreased total biomass after herbivory treatment (−24% and −15% for high and low nitrogen levels)] were favored at lower nitrogen level, while induced resistance was favored at higher nitrogen level (+24% increased leaf triterpenoid saponins after herbivory treatment at high nitrogen level). Constitutive resistance and tolerance exhibited trade-offs with growth rate, while induced resistance positively correlated with growth rate. Additionally, the introduced genotypes had −6% lower content of leaf carbon in the presence of herbivores than the native genotypes at low nitrogen level, but such difference was absent at high nitrogen level. Our results indicate that soil nitrogen levels influence the preference of different defensive strategies of plant, and interweave with herbivory to determine the performance of introduced genotypes.

    Xiang-Qin Li, Sai-Chun Tang, Yu-Mei Pan, Chun-Qiang Wei and Shi-Hong Lü
    2022, 15 (3): 473-484.
    Abstract ( 24 )   PDF   Save

    Nitrogen (N) deposition, precipitation and their interaction affect plant invasions in temperate ecosystems with limiting N and water resources, but whether and how they affect plant invasions in subtropical native communities with abundant N and precipitation remains unclear.

    We constructed in situ artificial communities with 12 common native plant species in a subtropical system and introduced four common invasive plant species and their native counterparts to these communities. We compared plant growth and establishment of introduced invasive species and native counterparts in communities exposed to ambient (CK), N addition (N+), increased precipitation (P+) and N addition plus increased precipitation (P+N+). We also investigated the density and aboveground biomass of communities under such conditions.

    P+ alone did not enhance the performance of invasive species or native counterparts. N+ enhanced only the aboveground biomass and relative density of invasive species. P+N+ enhanced the growth and establishment performance of both invasive species and native counterparts. Most growth and establishment parameters of invasive species were greater than those of native counterparts under N+, P+ and P+N+ conditions. The density and aboveground biomass of native communities established by invasive species were significantly lower than those of native communities established by native counterparts under P+N+ conditions. These results suggest that P+ may magnify the effects of N+ on performance of invasive species in subtropical native communities where N and water are often abundant, which may help to understand the effect of global change on plant invasion in subtropical ecosystems.

    Zhengkuan Lu, Xue Zhang, Hongxiang Zhang and Yanjie Liu
    2022, 15 (3): 485-493.
    Abstract ( 17 )   PDF   Save

    Plant invasion potentially will be affected by increased extreme drought events and deposition of atmospheric N. However, results from previous research indicate that it is not clear as to how extreme drought, N deposition and their interaction affect alien plant invasion, in particular for the invasive woody legumes. We conducted a greenhouse experiment with three invasive and three native woody species of legumes (Fabaceae). We grew plants in extreme drought and in well-watered conditions combined with low and high levels of N and compared plant height, number of leaves and biomass production and allocation. Growth of native woody legumes was suppressed more by extreme drought than that of invasive woody legumes. Although an increase in soil N availability decreased the root mass fraction of plants of all species, it did not affect their overall performance. We found that invasive woody legumes can tolerate the adverse effects of the prolonged extreme drought better than native woody legumes. These results enhance our understanding of the effects of drought due to climate change on the invasion of alien woody legumes.

    Youli Yu, Huiyuan Cheng, Shu Wang, Mei Wei, Congyan Wang, and Daolin Du
    2022, 15 (3): 494-508.
    Abstract ( 25 )   PDF   Save

    Drought can affect the growth and soil enzyme activities of invasive alien plants (IAPs). It is imperative to evaluate the competitive advantage of IAPs compared with that of the native species and the activities of soil enzymes under drought. This study aimed to evaluate the competitive advantage of the IAP Amaranthus spinosus that originated from tropical America compared with the native Chinese species A. tricolor and the activities of soil enzymes under drought. A competitive co-culture of A. spinosus and A. tricolor was established using a planting basin experiment. The two species were treated with different levels of drought, i.e. (i) the control; (ii) a light level of drought and (iii) a heavy level of drought. The functional traits, osmotic adjustment and the activities of antioxidant enzymes of the two species, as well as soil pH and electrical conductivity, contents of soil microbial biomass carbon and the activities of soil enzymes were determined. The relative competition intensity and relative dominance of A. spinosus were greater than those of A. tricolor under drought. Drought may provide an advantage to the competitive advantage of A. spinosus. Soil water-soluble salt content and sucrose hydrolytic power of A. spinosus were greater than those of A. tricolor under drought. The ability of A. spinosus to grow in soil with higher levels of water-soluble salt contents and sucrose hydrolytic power under drought may aid in its acquisition and utilization of nutrients.

    Zhiyuan Hu, Jiaqi Zhang, Yizhou Du, Kangwei Shi, Guangqian Ren, Babar Iqbal, Zhicong Dai, Jian Li, Guanlin Li and Daolin Du
    2022, 15 (3): 509-523.
    Abstract ( 40 )   Save
    Invasive alien plants not only decrease riparian vegetation diversity but also alter wetland ecosystem carbon processes, especially when they displace the original vegetation. Invasive Canada goldenrod (Solidago canadensis L.) has colonized large areas of disturbed and undisturbed land in southeastern China, yet little is known regarding how it affects soil carbon cycling. To explore the response patterns of soil respiration following S. canadensis invasion and their driving mechanisms, an observational field study and a greenhouse experiment simulating invasion were performed. In the field study, soil respiration was measured weekly from 21th July 2018 to 15th December 2018. In the greenhouse experiment, soil, autotrophic and heterotrophic respiration were measured every 1st and 15th of the month from 15th July 2019 to 15th December 2019. Soil, autotrophic and heterotrophic respiration were measured using a closed-chamber system with the deep gauze collar root exclusion method. Solidago canadensis invasion appeared to decrease the total soil CO2 emissions in both the field study and the greenhouse experiment. The suppressive effects on soil respiration may be attributed to S. canadensis invasion-induced alterations in the quality and quantity of available soil substrate, suggesting that S. canadensis invasion may impact soil carbon cycling via plant-released substrates and by competing for the soil available substrate with native plant and/or soil microbes. These results have substantial implications for estimations of the effects of invasive plants on belowground carbon dynamics and their contribution to the warming world.
    Blaise Binama and Caroline Müller
    2022, 15 (3): 524-537.
    Abstract ( 18 )   PDF   Save

    Plants that expand their range and become invasive in other areas may shift several functional traits in response to specific environments. However, local conditions at the place of origin may have shaped the functional traits, which may to some extent remain visible in plants growing in new habitats. The present study aimed to explore the trait variation in different plant populations of native, invasive and naturalized status of Bunias orientalis grown in common conditions in relation to the climatic conditions at their place of origin. Seeds of B. orientalis were collected from 12 populations (4 per status) in 8 countries and grown under standardized conditions in a common field garden. The variation in several functional traits related to phenology, growth and reproduction was compared among status and among populations. Phenology did not differ according to status. However, several plants of the native populations, originating from areas with low annual temperatures, did not start flowering. Plants of the invasive populations produced more leaves than natives, potentially indicating their vigor in building up vegetative biomass. Number and mass of silicles and other growth traits did not differ among status groups but varied among populations. Some of the variation in functional traits may be explained by long-term adaptations to local conditions at the areas of origin and genetic diversity, while other environmental factors differing in the novel environment may contribute to a high trait variation.

    Wengang Zhang, Xiaoyan Chen, Ruiling Liu, Xingjiang Song, Gang Liu, Jiabin Zou, Zengqiang Qian, Zhihong Zhu and Langjun Cui
    2022, 15 (3): 538-548.
    Abstract ( 30 )   PDF   Save
    Shifts in the realized niches of exotic species may play an important role in their invasion. Galinsoga quadriradiata has invaded China widely and occupied many climate zones that are different from its native range. We addressed the climatic niche shift of G. quadriradiata and evaluated how this could contribute to its invasion in China. We used the Maxent model to predict the potential distribution of G. quadriradiata using its native and invaded range occurrences and climatic variables. Principal component analysis was conducted to measure climatic niche shifts of G. quadriradiata during its invasion in China. The models revealed only 32.7% niche overlap between the native and invasive populations. The niche similarity of the two populations was significantly low (Schoener’s D = 0.093, P < 0.005), suggesting the occurrence of a niche shift. The envelop and center of the realized climatic niche in China has shifted to lower temperature and less precipitation compared to that in its native range. The majority of invaded areas in southern China are in the stabilizing zone, whereas the colonization and adaptation zones are predicted to be at the leading edge of G. quadriradiata invasion in northern China. This suggests that the regional distribution of G. quadriradiata may be in a quasi-equilibrium state, and that the species continues to invade environmentally suitable areas. Alterations in G. quadriradiata’s niche would help to explain why this species is so invasive in China.
    Yongge Yuan, Huifei Jin and Junmin Li
    2022, 15 (3): 549-560.
    Abstract ( 22 )   PDF   Save

    There is an increasing likelihood that invasive plants are again exposed to their co-evolved specialist herbivores in the non-native range. However, whether there is a latitudinal pattern associated with the resistance of an invasive plant to its co-evolved herbivores and how soil microbes affect resistance has been little explored. We hypothesized that the resistance of invasive Solidago canadensis to its co-evolved insect herbivore Corythucha marmorata could increase with latitude, and that local rhizosphere microbes could facilitate invasive plants to become resistant to their co-evolved herbivores. We conducted a field survey and a greenhouse experiment to examine whether there was a latitudinal pattern in the abundance of C. marmorata and in the damage it caused to S. canadensis in China. We tested whether local rhizosphere microbes of invasive plants can promote the resistance of S. canadensis to C. marmorata herbivory. In the field survey, both density of C. marmorata and damage level of S. canadensis were positively correlated with latitude, and with S. canadensis plant growth, indicating a latitudinal pattern in the resistance of S. canadensis to C. marmorata. However, in the greenhouse experiment, S. canadensis from different latitudes did not suffer significantly from different levels of damage from C. marmorata. Additionally, the damage level of S. canadensis was lower when rhizosphere soil and rhizomes originated from field S. canadensis with same damage level than with different damage levels. This result indicates that local rhizosphere soil microbes promote the adaptation of S. canadensis to resistance of C. marmorata.

    Wei-Tao Li, Yu-Long Zheng, Rui-Fang Wang, Zheng-Ying Wang, Yan-Mei Liu, Xiong Shi, Zhi-Yong Liao, Yang-Ping Li and Yu-Long Feng
    2022, 15 (3): 561-570.
    Abstract ( 23 )   PDF   Save
    Tropical mountain ecosystems are usually colonized by numerous invasive plant species and represent an ideal ‘natural laboratory’ to study the effects of altitude on plant invasion. The aim of this study was to investigate the soil chemical and microbiological properties along an altitudinal gradient on a mountain colonized by the invader Ageratina adenophora. Rhizosphere soil of A. adenophora was collected over an altitudinal gradient (1400–2400 m) in Ailao Shan, China. We determined soil organic carbon (C), nutrient contents, enzyme activities, bacterial community composition as well as C and nitrogen (N) contents of the plant roots. Ecoenzymatic stoichiometric indices were calculated to estimate the relative C, N or P limitations of the microbial community. There was a significant effect of altitude on soil organic C in the rhizosphere, and a turning point in these measured variables was detected at an altitude of 2000 m. At low elevations, the rapid growth of invasive plants depleted the deficient phosphorus (P) in tropical soils, leading to microbial P limitation; at high elevations, microbes invested more energy to obtain C from resistant litter, leading to microbial C limitation. Bacterial beta diversity and soil pH contributed most to the altitudinal differences in ecoenzymatic stoichiometry, and Proteobacteria and Acidobacteria were the dominant bacterial phyla that determined the nutrient uptake status of microorganisms. These results demonstrate how microbial nutrient acquisition belowground of A. adenophora along an altitudinal gradient, which could contribute to further knowledge about the effects of altitude on biological invasion.
    Xiaolong Huang, Jinlei Yu, Baohua Guan, Hongmin Xie, Shuailing Liu, Hu He and Kuanyi Li
    2022, 15 (3): 571-580.
    Abstract ( 18 )   PDF   Save

    The submerged plant species Carolina fanwort (Cabomba caroliniana) has become a dominant invasive aquatic plant in the Lake Taihu Basin (LTB) in China. Introduced species may escape their original specialist enemies and encounter fewer enemies in their new environment. They were assumed to have suffered less herbivory than native species as they are relatively unpalatable (the enemy release hypothesis [ERH]). The objective of this study was to compare the responses of C. caroliniana with those of co-occurring native species to herbivory from native herbivores. We conducted a mesocosm experiment to record the responses of C. caroliniana and two commonly co-occurring native submerged plant counterparts, water thyme (Hydrilla verticillata) and Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum), to herbivory by two native generalist gastropod snails, Radix swinhoei and Sinotaia quadrata. Plant morphological traits (total biomass, shoot/root [S/R] biomass ratio and relative growth rate [RGR]) and physiological traits (leaf total nonstructural carbohydrate [TNC], lignin, and cellulose) were recorded. The snail S. quadrata rarely influenced the plant traits of the three submerged plants. With the increasing numbers of R. swinhoei treatments, most of the plant traits of H. verticillata and M. spicatum changed, while those of C. caroliniana showed a relatively stable fluctuation. This result indicates that C. caroliniana is more resistant to herbivory by the snail R. swinhoei, which is consistent with the ERH hypothesis. This finding indicates that herbivorous snail species contributes to the invasion of C. caroliniana, which potentially alters the species composition of submerged plants in the plant community.

    Lingjie Kong, Xue Chen, Ellen Heininger Yerger, Qiao Li, Fengxin Chen, Haiyun Xu and Fengjuan Zhang
    2022, 15 (3): 581-595.
    Abstract ( 26 )   PDF   Save

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) can increase host plant nutrient uptake via their mycelium, thus promoting plant growth. AMF have always been associated with successful invasion of most exotic plant species. However, knowledge regarding how AMF affect the success of plant invasion remains limited. Exotic Ambrosia artemisiifolia is an invasive and mycorrhizal plant species. A long-term field experiment was conducted to examine the differences in AMF diversity and composition in the roots of A. artemisiifolia and Setaria viridis subjected to interspecific competition during growth. A greenhouse experiment was also performed to test the effect of Funneliformis mosseae on the growth of these two species. Ambrosia artemisiifolia invasion caused AMF diversity to change in native S. viridis roots. Meanwhile, the relative abundance of F. mosseae was significantly higher in the roots of A. artemisiifolia than in those of S. viridis. The higher AMF colonization rate in the exotic species (A. artemisiifolia) than in the native species (S. viridis) was found in both the field and greenhouse experiments. The greenhouse experiment possibly provided that AMF advantaged to the growth of A. artemisiifolia, by influencing its photosynthetic capacity as well as its phosphorus and potassium absorption. These observations highlight the important relationship of AMF with the successful invasion of A. artemisiifolia.

    Xue Chen, Qiao Li, Yan Wang, Fengxin Chen, Xiaoya Zhang and Fengjuan Zhang
    2022, 15 (3): 596-609.
    Abstract ( 74 )   PDF   Save
    The effect of exotic plants on Bacillus diversity in the rhizosphere and the role of Bacilli in exotic or native plant species remain poorly understood. Flaveria bidentis is an invasive grass in China. Setaria viridis is a native grass and occurs in areas invaded by F. bidentis. Our objectives were (i) to examine the differences in the Bacillus communities between F. bidentis and S. viridis rhizospheres soil, and (ii) to compare the effects of Bacilli from F. bidentis and S. viridis rhizospheres on the competitiveness of the invasive species. Flaveria bidentis monoculture, mixture of F. bidentis and S. viridis and S. viridis monoculture were designed in the field experiment. Bacillus diversity in their rhizosphere was analyzed using 16S rRNA. One of the dominant Bacilli in the rhizosphere soil of F. bidentis was selected to test its effect on the competitive growth of F. bidentis in a greenhouse experiment. Bacillus diversity differed in F. bidentis and S. viridis rhizosphere. Brevibacterium frigoritolerans was the dominant Bacilli in the rhizosphere of both F. bidentis and S. viridis; however, its relative abundance in the F. bidentis rhizosphere was much higher than that in the S. viridis rhizosphere. In addition, B. frigoritolerans in the F. bidentis rhizosphere enhanced the growth of the plant compared with that of S. viridis by improving the nitrogen and phosphorus levels. This study showed that F. bidentis invasion influenced Bacillus communities, especially B. frigoritolerans, which, in turn, facilitated F. bidentis growth by increasing the levels of available nitrogen and phosphorus.
    Jianfan Sun, Susan Rutherford, Muhammad Saif Ullah, Ikram Ullah, Qaiser Javed, Ghulam Rasool, Muhammad Ajmal, Ahmad Azeem, Muhammad Junaid Nazir and Daolin Du
    2022, 15 (3): 610-624.
    Abstract ( 18 )   PDF   Save

    Plant invasions can affect soil properties in the invaded habitat by altering the biotic and abiotic nature of soils through positive or negative plant–soil feedback. Litter decomposition from many invasive species enhanced soil nutrients, thereby decreasing native plant diversity and leading to further plant invasions. Here, we examined the impact of litter decomposition from an invasive plant (Sphagneticola trilobata) in a range of soils at varying depths on growth and physiology of its native congener (Sphagneticola calendulacea). We added litter from S. trilobata to each soil type at different depths (0, 2, 4 and 6 cm). Plants of S. calendulacea were grown in each treatment, and morphological and physiological parameters were measured at the end of the growing period. All soils treated with litter displayed increases in soil nutrients at depths of 2 and 4 cm; while most growth traits, leaf chlorophyll and leaf nitrogen of S. calendulacea decreased at the same soil depths. Therefore, litter decomposition from invasive S. trilobata resulted in a positive plant–soil feedback for soil nutrients, and a negative plant–soil feedback for growth in native S. calendulacea. Our findings also suggest that the effects of litter decomposition from an invasive plant on soils and native species can vary significantly depending on the soil depth at which the litter is deposited. Future studies should focus on plant–soil feedback for more native and invasive species in invaded habitats, and the effects of invasive litter in more soil types and at greater soil depths.

    Kai Sun, Xuan-Shao Liu, Tian-Jian Qin, Fan Jiang, Jing-Fang Cai, Yi-Luan Shen, Si-Ha A and Hong-Li Li
    2022, 15 (3): 625-638.
    Abstract ( 50 )   PDF   Save

    Native plant communities are commonly invaded by invasive plants to different degrees. However, the relative contribution of the invasive plant abundance vs. phylogenetic evenness to the responses of wetland communities to different degrees of invasion is still unclear. In addition, whether such contribution varies with environmental conditions such as flooding is also unclear. To address these questions, we chose Alternanthera philoxeroides as the invasive plant, and set up four invasive degrees by changing the community species composition under both flooding and non-flooding conditions. The relative abundance of A. philoxeroides and phylogenetic evenness changed simultaneously with the change in the community invasion degree. The invasion degree significantly affected the individual biomass of A. philoxeroides and some native species. Variation partitioning showed that the relative abundance of A. philoxeroides contributed more to variation in community indicators than phylogenetic evenness, regardless of flooding. Spearman rank correlation test showed that the relative abundance of A. philoxeroides was negatively correlated with the individual biomass of A. philoxeroides and some native species, while the phylogenetic evenness was positively correlated with only a few native species. And their correlation strength and significance were all affected by specific species and flooded environment. In conclusion, our results suggest that the relative abundance of A. philoxeroides can more effectively explain the wetland community response to different invasion degrees than phylogenetic evenness, regardless of flooding.

    Wei Xue, Si-Mei Yao, Lin Huang, Sergio R. Roiloa, Bao-Ming Ji and Fei-Hai Yu
    2022, 15 (3): 639-649.
    Abstract ( 53 )   PDF   Save

    Current plant diversity can influence exotic plant invasion, but it is unclear whether there is a legacy effect of plant diversity on exotic plant invasion. As plant diversity can affect soil microbial communities and physio-chemical properties, which may cascade to impact subsequent exotic plant growth, we hypothesize that the soil legacy effect of plant diversity can influence exotic plant invasion. We conducted a plant–soil feedback experiment. In the conditioning phase, we trained soils by monocultures of 12 plant species from three functional groups (4 grasses, 3 legumes and 5 forbs) and mixtures of 8 randomly selected species with all three functional groups from this 12-species pool. In the test phase, we grew the invasive plant Bidens pilosa with a co-occurring native grass (Arthraxon hispidus), with a co-occurring native forb (Pterocypsela indica) or with both in each type of the conditioned soils. The performance of B. pilosa relative to its native competitors varied depending on the functional type of both conditioning plant species in the conditioning phase and competing plant species in the test phase. Diversity of the conditioning plants did not influence the growth difference between B. pilosa and its native competitors. However, increasing diversity of the competing plant species reduced the performance of B. pilosa relative to its native competitors. Our results suggest that current plant diversity can reduce exotic plant invasion through increasing growth inequality between invasive and native plants, but the soil legacy effect of plant diversity may have little impact on exotic plant invasion.

    Shanshan Qi, Susan Rutherford, Furong He, Bi-Cheng Dong, Bin Zhu, Zhicong Dai, Weiguo Fu, Hanping Mao and Daolin Du
    2022, 15 (3): 650-662.
    Abstract ( 23 )   PDF   Save

    Invasive plants are a major threat to biodiversity and may adversely affect food security. Clonal integration enables the sharing of resources between connected ramets and can enhance plant performance in many invasive species. However, few studies have examined the role of clonal integration when weeds are exposed to plant growth regulators (PGRs). PGRs are used extensively in agriculture and may affect nearby weeds through soil leaching, erosion and runoff. Our aim was to investigate the effects of clonal integration on growth in a noxious weed, Alternanthera philoxeroides (alligator weed), in response to two PGRs frequently used in agriculture, gibberellins (GAs) and paclobutrazol (PAC). Ramets of A. philoxeroides were propagated in the greenhouse, and treated with PGRs. PGRs were applied to the older ramets (i.e. ‘basal’ part), with half of the plants having the stems between the apical (younger) and basal parts left connected, while the remaining plants had the stems between the two parts severed. Following the growing period, plants were measured for growth traits. We found that GA and PAC had contrasting effects on plant growth. GA significantly promoted above-ground growth of the apical ramets via clonal integration. Alternatively, PAC inhibited above-ground growth in the basal and apical parts, and enhanced below-ground growth of the basal and apical ramets through clonal integration. Our results highlight how clonal integration can promote growth in A. philoxeroides following the application of PGRs, which is likely an important mechanism for this species to invade new environments.

    Lei Pu, Lang Cheng, Ai Li, Sha Liang, Qing Wei, Shulan Wu, Linxuan He, Xiangning Xu, Ningfei Lei and Jinsong Chen
    2022, 15 (3): 663-671.
    Abstract ( 63 )   PDF   Save

    Plant invasion is one of the most serious threats to ecosystems worldwide. When invasive plants with the ability of clonal growth invading or colonizing in new habitat, their interconnected ramets may suffer from heterogeneous light. Effects of clonal integration on allelopathy of invasive plants are poorly understood under heterogeneous light conditions. To investigate the effects of clonal integration on allelopathy of invasive plant Wedelia trilobata under heterogeneous light conditions, a pot experiment was conducted by using its clonal fragments with two successive ramets. The older ramets were exposed to full light, whereas the younger ones were subjected to 20% full light. The younger ramets of each clonal fragment were adjacently grown with a target plant (one tomato seedling) in a pot. Stolon between two successive ramets was either severed or retained intact. In addition, two tomato seedlings (one as target plant) were adjacently grown in a pot as contrast. Compared with severing stolon, biomass accumulation, foliar chlorophyll and nitrogen contents, chlorophyll fluorescence parameters and net photosynthetic rates of the target plants as well as their root length and activity, were significantly decreased when stolon between interconnected ramets of W. trilobata retained intact. Under heterogeneous light conditions, transportation or sharing of carbohydrate between two successive ramets enhanced allelopathy of the young ramets subjected to 20% full light treatment. It is suggested that clonal integration may be important for invasion or colonization of invasive plants with ability of clonal growth under heterogeneous light conditions.

IF: 1.780
5-year IF: 2.674
Wen-Hao Zhang
Bernhard Schmid
CN 10-1172/Q
ISSN 1752-9921(print)
ISSN 1752-993X(online)