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Non-native species litter reduces germination and growth of resident forbs and grasses: allelopathic, osmotic or mechanical effects?
Justus-Liebig University, Giessen, Germany.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6953-3855
2015 (English)In: Biological Invasions, ISSN 1387-3547, E-ISSN 1573-1464, Vol. 17, no 2, p. 581-595Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Non-native plant species may contain allelopathic substances that might help to out-compete native vegetation. These allelochemicals may be released from live or dead plant tissues and be accumulated in the soil. We tested whether non-native species leaf litter and their leachates reduced seedling establishment and growth of native species. We subjected seeds of six native species to the effect of litter leachates of three of the most important invasive plants in Europe and to mannitol solutions with similar osmotic potential in germination chamber experiments. Additionally, we measured the effect of the same litter on emergence and growth of the native species in an outdoor pot experiment. Litter leachates delayed and reduced germination and affected initial root growth of all native species. The effects of leachates were significantly higher than those of mannitol, indicating the action of toxic, most probably allelochemical substances. Emergence of seedlings in pots was also reduced, but total biomass per pot was not affected and biomass per seedling increased. Allelochemicals may affect germination and early stages of seedling recruitment. However, these negative effects seem to cease shortly after germination, when other mechanisms such as competition may be more important. Consequently, litter-borne allelochemicals are unlikely to drive the invasion of the studied non-native species, but they may contribute to maintain mono-dominant stands reinforcing invasion success.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2015. Vol. 17, no 2, p. 581-595
Keywords [en]
Impatiens glandulifera Royle, Allelochemichals. Litter leachates, Lupinus polyphyllus Lindl.
National Category
Botany
Research subject
Biology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-37594DOI: 10.1007/s10530-014-0750-xISI: 000348149700006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-37594DiVA, id: diva2:848171
Available from: 2015-08-24 Created: 2015-08-20 Last updated: 2019-07-11Bibliographically approved

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Eckstein, Rolf Lutz

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