Allelopathic effects of three plant invaders on germination of native species: a field study

Del Fabbro, Corina; Güsewell, Sabine; Prati, Daniel (2014). Allelopathic effects of three plant invaders on germination of native species: a field study. Biological invasions, 16(5), pp. 1035-1042. Kluwer 10.1007/s10530-013-0555-3

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The ability of some invasive plant species to produce biochemical compounds toxic to native species, called allelopathy, is thought to be one of the reasons for their success when introduced to a novel range, an idea known as the Novel Weapons Hypothesis. However, support for this hypothesis mainly comes from bioassays and experiments conducted under controlled environments, whereas field evidence is rare. In a field experiment, we investigated whether three plant species invasive in Europe, Solidago gigantea, Impatiens glandulifera and Erigeron annuus, inhibit the germination of native species through allelopathy more than an adjacent native plant community. At three sites for each invasive species, we compared the germination of native species that were sown on invaded and non-invaded plots. Half of these plots were amended with activated carbon to reduce the influence of potential allelopathic compounds. The germination of sown seeds and of seeds from the seedbank was monitored over a period of 9 weeks. Activated carbon generally enhanced seed germination. This effect was equally pronounced in invaded and adjacent non-invaded plots, indicating that invasive species do not suppress germination more than a native plant community. In addition, more seeds germinated from the seedbank on invaded than on non-invaded soil, probably due to previous suppression of germination by the invasive species. Our field study does not provide evidence for the Novel Weapons Hypothesis with respect to the germination success of natives. Instead, our results suggest that if invasive species release allelopathic compounds that suppress germination, they do so to a similar degree as the native plant community.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Plant Ecology

UniBE Contributor:

Del Fabbro, Corina and Prati, Daniel

Subjects:

500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)

ISSN:

1387-3547

Publisher:

Kluwer

Language:

English

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

06 Jun 2014 10:01

Last Modified:

08 Sep 2015 11:44

Publisher DOI:

10.1007/s10530-013-0555-3

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Activated carbon, Allelopathy, Erigeron, Field experiment, Impatiens, Novel weapons hypothesis, Solidago

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.52627

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/52627

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