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Older populations of the invader Solidago canadensis exhibit stronger positive plant-soil feedbacks and competitive ability in China

Citation

Oduor, Ayub M.O; Adomako, Michael O.; Yuan, Yongge; Li, Jun-Min (2022), Older populations of the invader Solidago canadensis exhibit stronger positive plant-soil feedbacks and competitive ability in China, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.z08kprrg2

Abstract

PREMISE

The enemy release hypothesis predicts that release from natural enemies, including soil-borne pathogens, liberates invasive plants from a negative regulating force. Nevertheless, invasive plants may acquire novel enemies and mutualists in the introduced range, which may cause variable effects on invader growth. However, how soil microorganisms may influence competitive ability of invasive plants along invasion chronosequences has been little explored.

METHODS

Using the invasive plant Solidago canadensis, we tested whether longer residence times are associated with stronger negative plant-soil feedbacks and thus weaker competitive abilities at the individual level. We grew S. canadensis individuals from 36 populations with different residence times in competition versus no competition and in three different types of soils: (1) conspecific rhizospheric soils, (2) soil from uninvaded patches, and (3) sterilized soil. For our competitor treatments, we constructed synthetic communities of four native species Bidens parviflora, Solanum nigrum, Kalimeris indica, and Mosla scabra, which naturally co-occur with S. canadensis in the field.

RESULTS

Solidago canadensis populations with longer residence times experienced stronger positive plant-soil feedbacks and had greater competitive responses (i.e., produced greater above-ground biomass and grew taller) in conspecific rhizospheric soils than in sterilized and uninvaded soils. Moreover, S. canadensis from older populations significantly suppressed above-ground biomass of the native communities in rhizospheric and uninvaded soils but not in sterilized soil.

CONCLUSIONS

The present results suggest that older populations of S. canadensis experience stronger positive plant-soil feedback, which may enhance their competitive ability against native plant communities. 

Funding

National Natural Science Foundation of China, Award: 31850410484

Taizhou city 500 Elite Talent Plan

Taizhou University