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Dryad

Microplastics promote the invasiveness of invasive alien species under fluctuating water regime

Cite this dataset

Zhang, Rui-Feng et al. (2024). Microplastics promote the invasiveness of invasive alien species under fluctuating water regime [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.s4mw6m9fh

Abstract

Microplastic pollution and alien plant invasions are two important threats to terrestrial ecosystems. Microplastics (MPs) alter the physical and chemical characteristics of soil,  potentially affecting the performance of alien plants. However, previous studies have overlooked the impact of weather on invasive plants in areas polluted by MPs. With the global increase in extreme rainfall events, it is imperative to redefine the correlation between MPs and invasive plants. Here, we conducted an experiment in a climate chamber to examine the effects of MPs on the growth and development of both native and invasive alien plants under a constant and fluctuating water regime (FWR). The FWR simulated extreme water pulses during the 2016-2020 growing seasons in Wuhan, China. Our results indicated that biomass accumulation and roots development were influenced by water conditions and MPs pollution in both invasive and native species. The extent of the effects varied between the two groups of plant species. FWR promoted plant growth and fine root development in invasive plants but reduced the maximum quantum efficiency of photosystem II (Fv/Fm) and nonphotochemical quenching (NPQ) indices of native plants. Moreover, FWR attenuated the negative effects of polybutylene succinate (PBS, degradable MPs) on biomass and root characteristics (length, surface area, and tips). FWR compensates for the negative impacts of MPs on the total and belowground biomass of the invasive species Paspalum dilatatum and Sphagneticola trilobata, but not on the native species. Consequently, invasive species showed better performance than native species in the fine-root development of biomass growth and chlorophyll fluorescence under the combined effects of MPs and FWR.

Synthesis and Applications. Our findings suggest that MPs pollution enhances the competitiveness of invasive alien species over the native species when exposed to pronounced dry-wet water cycle conditions, potentially affecting the composition and biodiversity of the ecosystems. Thus, controlling MPs pollution should be a part of the management strategy to conserve biodiversity and ecosystems.

README: Microplastics and invasive species under fluctuating water regime: Open Source Data

We have submitted our raw data of native or invasive plant biomass (Biomass_MP.csv), fine roots of native or invasive plants (Fineroot_MP.csv), chlorophyll fluorescence of native or invasive plants (Fluorescence_MP.csv), and R script (MP_Code.R).

Descriptions

Biomass_MP

  • origin: Native or alien invasive plants
  • water: A treatment for watering plants, including constant and fluctuant water
  • MP: Microplastics treatment, including microplastics with and microplastics without
  • MP_type: The type of microplastics
    • Dg_PBS = degradable microplastics polybutylene succinate (PBS)
    • unDg_PP = nondegradable microplastics polypropylene (PP)
    • blank_control = microplastics without
  • size: The size of microplastics (small or large and ck)
  • spp: Species abbreviation
  • species/genus/family: Species, Genus and Family of plants
  • replicates: Serial number of species in the same processing
  • biomass: Total mass of native or alien invasive plants (total mass) (g)
  • biomass_root: Belowground mass of native or alien invasive plants (root mass) (g)
  • biomass_ground: Aboveground mass of native or alien invasive plants (shoot mass) (g)

Fineroot_MP

  • origin: replicates : same to file "Biomass_MP"
  • L: Fine roots (Diameter ≤ 0.25 mm) length of native or alien invasive plants (cm)
  • SA: Fine roots (Diameter ≤ 0.25 mm) surface area of native or alien invasive plants (cm^2)
  • L_T: Total roots (all roots) length of native or alien invasive plants (cm)
  • SA_T: Total roots (all roots) surface area of native or alien invasive plants (cm^2)
  • T_T: The number of total roots (all roots) tips in native or alien invasive plants

Fluorescence_MP

  • origin: replicates : same to file "Biomass_MP"
  • FvFm: Fv/Fm (photochemical efficiency of PSⅡin the light), the ratio of Fv (variable fluorescence) and Fm (fluorescence maximum) of native or alien invasive plants; FvFm is optimal/maximal photochemical efficiency of PSⅡin the dark, reflecting the intrinsic light energy conversion efficiency of PSⅡ reaction center
  • NPQ: NPQ of native or alien invasive plants; NPQ is one of the major photoprotective mechanisms that protects itself by regulating, for example, the dissipation of excess light energy as heat.

All "NA" in our files are missing data.

Funding

National Natural Science Foundation of China, Award: 32171510

National Natural Science Foundation of China, Award: 31770449