The invasive plant Impatiens glandulifera affects mycorrhizal fungi, plant and invertebrate diversity in deciduous forests

Lenz-Ruckli, Regina. The invasive plant Impatiens glandulifera affects mycorrhizal fungi, plant and invertebrate diversity in deciduous forests. 2013, Doctoral Thesis, University of Basel, Faculty of Science.


Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/diss/DissB_11527

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Non-native plant species have the potential to affect an ecosystem by changing species diversity, community structure and interactions among organisms. It is therefore important to understand potential mechanisms that contribute to the success of invasive plants. In the context of my PhD thesis, I examined the effect of the invasive annual herb I. glandulifera on mycorrhizal, plant and invertebrate diversity in a deciduous forest near Basel (Switzerland). I also studied the potential mechanism that could contribute to the success of I. glandulifera. A controlled field experiment was set up in three forest areas that were affected to a different extend (little, moderatly, high) by a former wind storm. In each area, three different plot types were installed: plots invaded by I. glandulifera, plots from which the invasive plants had been manually removed and plots which were no yet colonized by the invasive plant. The results of my thesis demonstrate that I. glandulifera affects above and as well as belowground organisms and has the potential to change soil conditions.
Aboveground gastropod richness and abundance were found to be higher in invaded plots than in control plots. The presence of I. glandulifera also altered the composition of gastropod species. Belowground fewer types of ectomycorrhiza were found on root systems of F. sylvatica saplings. Moreover, in plots with I. glandulifera the composition of ectomycorrhiza morphotypes was shifted. Considering mycorrhizal colonisation on fine roots saplings of both tree species, the presence of the invasive plant resulted in a reduction of ectomycorrhizal colonisation of F. sylvatica saplings and of arbuscular mycorrhiza colonisation on A. pseudoplatanus. Thus, disruption of mycorrhizal symbiosis probably led to a lower biomass and survival rate in saplings of both species grown in invaded plots. Additional results showed that soil moisture, soil pH, available phosphorus and microbial activity were increased in invaded plots.
Increased gastropods abundance and richness could be explained by higher soil moistures and damped soil temperature in invaded plots. However, measured changes in soil conditions did not affect mycorrhizal colonisation and performance of both sapling species. Therefore allelopatic effects of I. glandulifera on mycorrhizal symbioses were also examined. Allelopatic compounds are known to contribute to the spread of some invasive plant species and can disrupt mycorrhizal symbiosis. I identified the allelopathic compound 2-methoxy-1,4-naphtoquinone (2-MNQ) in plant organs of I. glandulifera, in soil of its proximity and in rain water rinsed from its leaves. Specific bioassays using shoot and root extracts of I. glandulifera as well as synthetic 2-MNQ revealed strong inhibitory effects on mycelium growth of ectomycorrhiza fungi and on the germination of native forest herbs. This finding indicates that the release of 2-MNQ may contribute to the invasion success of I. glandulifera.
Health, function and diversity of forest ecosystems are closely linked to the abundance and richness of mycorrhizal fungi. This study demonstrates that the spread I. glandulifera into deciduous forest ecosystem resulted in lower mycorrhizal colonisation of saplings. Thus, forest regeneration might be strongly affected by I. glandulifera. Moreover, changes in soil chemistry and soil conditions induced by I. glandulifera caused shifts in above- and belowground communities. Therefore ecosystem services and functions of forest habitats can be affected. Removal or stopping the preceding spread of I. glandulifera may be an investment for the conservation of native species and may prevent potential losses in timber production.
Advisors:Baur, Bruno and Erhardt, Andreas
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Ehemalige Einheiten Umweltwissenschaften > Naturschutzbiologie (Baur)
UniBasel Contributors:Baur, Bruno and Erhardt, Andreas
Item Type:Thesis
Thesis Subtype:Doctoral Thesis
Thesis no:11527
Thesis status:Complete
Number of Pages:1 Online-Ressource
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edoc DOI:
Last Modified:22 Jan 2018 15:52
Deposited On:26 Sep 2016 14:48

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