Soil Conditioning and Plant–soil Feedbacks Affect Competitive Relationships Between Native and Invasive Grasses
Understanding how competition from invasive species and soil conditions individually and interactively affect native performance will increase knowledge of invasion dynamics and can be used to improve the success of restoration plans. This study, conducted in Reno NV, USA, uses a two-phase plant–soil feedback experiment coupled with a target-neighbor competition design to examine the individual and interactive effects of both soil conditions and invasive neighbors on native performance. Study species include invasive species (Bromus tectorum and Agropyron cristatum) and native species (Elymus elymoides and Pseudoroegneria spicata). Results indicate that both plant performance and competitive interactions were influenced by species-specific soil conditioning. Specifically, invasive B. tectorum generated a larger competitive effect on natives than invasive A. cristatum; however, only A. cristatumconditioned soil in a manner that increased competitive effects of conspecifics on natives. Native P. spicata was relatively unaffected by soil conditioning and conversely, E. elymoideswas strongly affected by soil conditioning. Few previous studies have examined soil conditioning and the interaction of soil conditioning and neighbor effects that both are potentially important mechanisms in structuring plant communities and influencing plant invasion.
DOI of Published Version
Perkins, Lora and Nowak, Robert S., "Soil Conditioning and Plant–soil Feedbacks Affect Competitive Relationships Between Native and Invasive Grasses" (2012). Native Plant Focused Publications. 1.