Data from: Suppression of reproductive characteristics of the invasive plant Mikania micrantha by sweet potato competition
Cite this dataset
Shen, Shicai et al. (2016). Data from: Suppression of reproductive characteristics of the invasive plant Mikania micrantha by sweet potato competition [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.9522r
Background: As a means of biologically controlling Mikania micrantha H.B.K. in Yunnan, China, the influence of sweet potato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.] on its reproductive characteristics was studied. The trial utilized a de Wit replacement series incorporating six ratios of sweet potato and M. micrantha plants in 25 m2 plots over two years. Results: Budding of M. micrantha occurred at the end of September; flowering and fruiting occurred from October to February. Flowering phenology of M. micrantha was delayed (P<0.05), duration of flowering and fruiting was reduced (P<0.05) and duration of bud formation was increased (P<0.05) with increasing proportions of sweet potato. Reproductive allocation, reproductive investment and reproductive index of M. micrantha were significantly reduced (P<0.05) with increasing sweet potato densities. Apidae bees, and Calliphoridae or Syrphidae flies were the most abundant visitors to M. micrantha flowers. Overall flower visits decreased (P<0.05) as sweet potato increased. Thus the mechanism by which sweet potato suppressed sexual reproduction in M. micrantha was essentially two-fold: causing a delay in flowering phenology and reducing pollinator visits. The number, biomass, length, set rate, germination rate, and 1000-grain dry weight of M. micrantha seeds were suppressed (P<0.05) by sweet potato competition. With proportional increases in sweet potato, sexual and asexual seedling populations of M. micrantha were significantly reduced (P<0.05). The mortality of both seedling types increased (P<0.05) with proportional increases in sweet potato. Conclusions: These results suggest that sweet potato significantly suppresses the reproductive ability of the invasive species M. micrantha, and is a promising alternative to traditional biological control and other methods of control. Planting sweet potato in conjunction with other control methods could provide a comprehensive strategy for managing M. micrantha. The scenario of controlling M. micrantha by utilizing a crop with a similar growth form may provide a useful model for similar management strategies in other systems.