Altered ecosystem carbon and nitrogen cycles by plant invasion: a meta-analysis

Authors

  • Chengzhang Liao,

    1. Coastal Ecosystems Research Station of Yangtze River Estuary, Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Biodiversity Science and Ecological Engineering, The Institute of Biodiversity Science, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China;
    2. Department of Botany and Microbiology, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73019, USA
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  • Ronghao Peng,

    1. Coastal Ecosystems Research Station of Yangtze River Estuary, Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Biodiversity Science and Ecological Engineering, The Institute of Biodiversity Science, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China;
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  • Yiqi Luo,

    1. Coastal Ecosystems Research Station of Yangtze River Estuary, Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Biodiversity Science and Ecological Engineering, The Institute of Biodiversity Science, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China;
    2. Department of Botany and Microbiology, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73019, USA
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  • Xuhui Zhou,

    1. Department of Botany and Microbiology, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73019, USA
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  • Xiaowen Wu,

    1. Department of Botany and Microbiology, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73019, USA
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  • Changming Fang,

    1. Coastal Ecosystems Research Station of Yangtze River Estuary, Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Biodiversity Science and Ecological Engineering, The Institute of Biodiversity Science, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China;
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  • Jiakuan Chen,

    1. Coastal Ecosystems Research Station of Yangtze River Estuary, Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Biodiversity Science and Ecological Engineering, The Institute of Biodiversity Science, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China;
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  • Bo Li

    1. Coastal Ecosystems Research Station of Yangtze River Estuary, Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Biodiversity Science and Ecological Engineering, The Institute of Biodiversity Science, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China;
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Author for correspondence:
Bo Li
Tel: +86 21 65642178
Fax: +86 21 55664990
Email: bool@fudan.edu.cn

Summary

  • • Plant invasion potentially alters ecosystem carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) cycles. However, the overall direction and magnitude of such alterations are poorly quantified.
  • • Here, 94 experimental studies were synthesized, using a meta-analysis approach, to quantify the changes of 20 variables associated with C and N cycles, including their pools, fluxes, and other related parameters in response to plant invasion.
  • • Pool variables showed significant changes in invaded ecosystems relative to native ecosystems, ranging from a 5% increase in root carbon stock to a 133% increase in shoot C stock. Flux variables, such as above-ground net primary production and litter decomposition, increased by 50–120% in invaded ecosystems, compared with native ones. Plant N concentration, soil inline image and inline image concentrations were 40, 30 and 17% higher in invaded than in native ecosystems, respectively. Increases in plant production and soil N availability indicate that there was positive feedback between plant invasion and C and N cycles in invaded ecosystems.
  • • Invasions by woody and N-fixing plants tended to have greater impacts on C and N cycles than those by herbaceous and nonN-fixing plants, respectively. The responses to plant invasion are not different among forests, grasslands, and wetlands. All of these changes suggest that plant invasion profoundly influences ecosystem processes.

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