Do exotic plants lose resistance to pathogenic soil biota from their native range? A test with Solidago gigantea

John L. Maron, Wenbo Luo, Ragan M. Callaway, Robert W. Pal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Native plants commonly suffer from strong negative plant-soil feedbacks. However, in their non-native ranges species often escape from these negative feedbacks, which indicates that these feedbacks are generated by at least partially specialized soil biota. If so, introduced plants might evolve the loss of resistance to pathogens in their former native range, as has been proposed for the loss of resistance to specialized herbivores. We compared the magnitude of plant-soil feedbacks experienced by native and exotic genotypes of the perennial forb, Solidago gigantea. Feedbacks were assessed in soil collected across 14 sites sampled across the western part of Solidago’s native range in the US. Both native and exotic genotypes of Solidago suffered consistently negative and broadly similar plant-soil feedbacks when grown in North American soil. Although there was substantial variation among soils from different sites in the strength of feedbacks generated, the magnitude of feedbacks generated by North American genotypes of S. gigantea were strongly correlated with those produced in the same soil by European genotypes. Our results indicate that Solidago experiences strong negative soil feedbacks in native soil and that introduced genotypes of Solidago have not lost resistance to these negative effects of soil biota. Both genotypic and landscape-level effects can be important sources of variation in the strength of plant-soil feedbacks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447-454
Number of pages8
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 22 2015


  • Enemy escape
  • Evolution of Increased Competitive Ability hypothesis
  • Invasions
  • Invasive species
  • Plant-soil feedbacks


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