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Waging war on invasive plant species: Effects of invasives persist even after removal
Date:8/9/2011

221.10.254.64

Invasive species cost an estimated $1.4 trillion annually in their environmental and economic impacts worldwide and are second only to habitat loss as a threat to biodiversity. As scientists struggle with the challenge of controlling invasive species, the question of why some species are so successful continually arises.

Recent research conducted by Dr. Alison Bennett and Dr. Sharon Strauss at the University of California, Davis and Dr. Meredith Thomsen at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse has shed some light on this complex question. Most previous studies addressing the issue of species success have focused on the effect of individual factors, such as release from native enemies, disturbance, or allelopathy, but the interactions among these factors have not been taken into consideration. Bennett and colleagues investigated the effects of four primary mechanisms that potentially contribute to the success of invasive velvetgrass, Holcus lanatus. Their findings are published in a recent issue of the American Journal of Botany (http://www.amjbot.org/content/98/7/1086.full).

Bennett and colleagues focused on the effects of H. lanatus on a native daisy, Erigeron glaucus, at the Bodega Marine Reserve in Bodega Bay, California. In a series of greenhouse and field experiments, these researchers studied the effects of direct competition, changes to the soil community, indirect competition due to changes in herbivore feeding, and interference competition due to allelopathy.

They found that H. lanatus clearly hindered the germination, growth, and establishment of E. glaucus. Bennett and colleagues discovered that direct competition between the two species was responsible for much of the negative impact on E. glaucus. H. lanatus primarily effects E. glaucus due to the dense growth of H. lanatus as well as the dense litter la
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Contact: Richard Hund
rhund@botany.org
314-577-9557
American Journal of Botany
Source:Eurekalert  

Page: 1 2

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