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PLoS Biol. 2006 May;4(5):e140. Epub 2006 Apr 25.

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

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  • 1Harvard Forest, Harvard University, Petersham, Massachusetts, USA.

Erratum in

  • PLoS Biol. 2014 Feb;12(2):e1001817.

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.

PMID:
16623597
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1440938
Free PMC Article
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