Title

Impacts of two invasive goldenrod (Solidago) species at home and away

Presentation Type

Poster

Abstract

Exotic plant invasions impose strong shifts in biotic interactions. These changes affect species abundance and distribution, driving changes in ecosystem function. A prominent change involves the remarkable capability of some invasive species to suppress native species. In this context, we investigated the stem density of a highly problematic invasive weed in Europe, giant goldenrod (Solidago gigantea), and compared it to the total plant species richness and native species diversity in plots located in both the northwestern United States and in Hungary. We found an increase in stem density of S. gigantea correlated to a significant decrease in total species diversity and native species diversity in Europe, but not in North America. We have initiated a similar field survey of Canada goldenrod (Solidago canadensis), another highly invasive weed in Europe, which will be completed during the summer of 2013. Preliminary results indicate that native plots are showing the same trend of total species richness as plots containing S. gigantea. We also compared the effect of S. gigantea and S. canadensis leachate on the germination and growth of co-occurring plant species native to North America and Europe. Solidago gigantea root leachate suppressed germination and growth of European species, but not North American species. With limited species tested, S. canadensis root leachate shows greater suppression of germination on European species than North American species, but does not show differences in the suppression of growth. A competition experiment investigating the competitive effects of entire S. canadensis plants on five co-occurring North American species and five co-occurring European species is currently underway. Initial results generally demonstrate a strong biogeographic context to exotic plant invasions and have the potential to reveal extremely significant ecological and evolutionary processes in communities.

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Apr 12th, 3:00 PM Apr 12th, 4:00 PM

Impacts of two invasive goldenrod (Solidago) species at home and away

UC Ballroom

Exotic plant invasions impose strong shifts in biotic interactions. These changes affect species abundance and distribution, driving changes in ecosystem function. A prominent change involves the remarkable capability of some invasive species to suppress native species. In this context, we investigated the stem density of a highly problematic invasive weed in Europe, giant goldenrod (Solidago gigantea), and compared it to the total plant species richness and native species diversity in plots located in both the northwestern United States and in Hungary. We found an increase in stem density of S. gigantea correlated to a significant decrease in total species diversity and native species diversity in Europe, but not in North America. We have initiated a similar field survey of Canada goldenrod (Solidago canadensis), another highly invasive weed in Europe, which will be completed during the summer of 2013. Preliminary results indicate that native plots are showing the same trend of total species richness as plots containing S. gigantea. We also compared the effect of S. gigantea and S. canadensis leachate on the germination and growth of co-occurring plant species native to North America and Europe. Solidago gigantea root leachate suppressed germination and growth of European species, but not North American species. With limited species tested, S. canadensis root leachate shows greater suppression of germination on European species than North American species, but does not show differences in the suppression of growth. A competition experiment investigating the competitive effects of entire S. canadensis plants on five co-occurring North American species and five co-occurring European species is currently underway. Initial results generally demonstrate a strong biogeographic context to exotic plant invasions and have the potential to reveal extremely significant ecological and evolutionary processes in communities.