Two co-occurring invasive woody shrubs alter soil properties and promote subdominant invasive species
Article first published online: 10 SEP 2013
© 2013 The Authors. Journal of Applied Ecology © 2013 British Ecological Society
Journal of Applied Ecology
Volume 51, Issue 1, pages 124–133, February 2014
How to Cite
Kuebbing, S. E., Classen, A. T., Simberloff, D. (2014), Two co-occurring invasive woody shrubs alter soil properties and promote subdominant invasive species. Journal of Applied Ecology, 51: 124–133. doi: 10.1111/1365-2664.12161
- Issue published online: 20 JAN 2014
- Article first published online: 10 SEP 2013
- Accepted manuscript online: 30 JUL 2013 07:10AM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 25 JUL 2013
- Manuscript Received: 18 APR 2013
- National Institute of Health and National Institutes of General Medical Sciences. Grant Number: NIHR25 GM086761
- UT Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
- biological invasion;
- community effects;
- dominant invader;
- invasion impact;
- Ligustrum sinense ;
- Lonicera maackii ;
- strong invader
- Though co-occurrence of invasive plant species is common, few studies have compared the community and ecosystem impacts of invaders when they occur alone and when they co-occur. Prioritization of invasive species management efforts requires sufficient knowledge of impacts – both among individual invasive species and among different sets of co-occurring invaders – to target resources towards management of sites expected to undergo the largest change.
- Here, we observed differences in above- and below-ground impacts of two invasive woody shrubs, Lonicera maackii and Ligustrum sinense, among plots containing both shrubs (mixed), each species singly or lacking both species (control).
- We found additive and non-additive effects of these co-occurring invasives on plant communities and soil processes. Mixed plots contained two times more subdominant invasive plant species than L. maackii or L. sinense plots. Compared to control plots, mixed plots had three times the potential activity of β-glucosidase, a carbon-degrading extracellular soil enzyme. L. maackii plots and mixed plots had less acidic soils, while L. sinense plots had higher soil moisture than control plot soils. Differences in soil properties among plots explained plant- and ground-dwelling arthropod community composition as well as the potential microbial function in soils.
- Synthesis and applications. Our study highlights the importance of explicitly studying the impacts of co-occurring invasive plant species singly and together. Though Lonicera maackii and Ligustrum sinense have similar effects on ecosystem structure and function when growing alone, our data show that two functionally similar invaders can have non-additive impacts on ecosystems. These results suggest that sites with both species should be prioritized for invasive plant management over sites containing only one of these species. Furthermore, this study provides a valuable template for future studies exploring how and when invasion by co-occurring species alters above- and below-ground function in ecosystems with different traits.