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Title: Invasive plant benefits a native plant through plant-soil feedback but remains the superior competitor
Plant soil feedback (PSF) occurs when a plant modifies soil biotic properties and those changes in turn influence plant growth, survival or reproduction. These feedback effects are not well understood as mechanisms for invasive plant species. Eragrostis lehmanniana is an invasive species that has extensively colonized the southwest US. To address how PSFs may affect E. lehmanniana invasion and native Bouteloua gracilis growth, soil inoculant from four sites of known invasion age at the Appleton-Whittell Audubon Research Ranch in Sonoita, AZ were used in a PSF greenhouse study, incorporating a replacement series design. The purpose of this research was to evaluate PSF conspecific and heterospecific effects and competition outcomes between the invasive E. lehmanniana and a native forage grass, Bouteloua gracilis . Eragrostis lehmanniana PSFs were beneficial to B. gracilis if developed in previously invaded soil. Plant-soil feedback contributed to competitive suppression of B. gracilis only in the highest ratio of E. lehmanniana to B. gracilis . Plant-soil feedback did not provide an advantage to E. lehmanniana in competitive interactions with B. gracilis at low competition levels but were advantageous to E. lehmanniana at the highest competition ratio, indicating a possible density-dependent effect. Despite being beneficial to B. gracilis under more » many conditions, E. lehmanniana was the superior competitor. « less
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Award ID(s):
2025166 1832194
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
119 to 136
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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  1. Abstract

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