Invasive plant suppresses the growth of native tree seedlings by disrupting belowground mutualisms

Kristina A. Stinson, Stuart A. Campbell, Jeff R. Powell, Benjamin E. Wolfe, Ragan M. Callaway, Giles C. Thelen, Steven G. Hallett, Daniel Prati, John N. Klironomos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

633 Scopus citations

Abstract

The impact of exotic species on native organisms is widely acknowledged, but poorly understood. Very few studies have empirically investigated how invading plants may alter delicate ecological interactions among resident species in the invaded range. We present novel evidence that antifungal phytochemistry of the invasive plant, Alliaria petiolata, a European invader of North American forests, suppresses native plant growth by disrupting mutualistic associations between native canopy tree seedlings and belowground arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Our results elucidate an indirect mechanism by which invasive plants can impact native flora, and may help explain how this plant successfully invades relatively undisturbed forest habitat.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)727-731
Number of pages5
JournalPLoS Biology
Volume4
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2006

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