Performing as a transformer species? The invasive alien Reynoutria bohemica changes ecosystem properties in a riparian woodland.

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From: Weed Research(Vol. 62, Issue 6)
Publisher: Wiley Subscription Services, Inc.
Document Type: Report; Brief article
Length: 350 words

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Keywords: Allium ursinum; invasive alien plant species; Reynoutria bohemica; shading; soil microarthropod; soil properties modification Abstract Invasive alien plants may profoundly transform ecosystems over wide areas. The study aimed to assess how the invader Reynoutria bohemica could transform ecosystem components of a native riparian forest in Northern Italy, after about 20years of invasion. We selected 20 forest sites where we set up two 1 ×1m plots, one in an invaded and one in a non-invaded patch. Subsequently, we surveyed the properties of litter and mineral soil, soil biological quality (QBS-ar), diversity of plant and microarthropod communities and light intensity at the ground level. To determine if the invader affected the quality of herb layer, we selected the native herb Allium ursinum as the indicator species of good quality forest stand and measured its traits in the paired plots. Following the application of linear mixed effects models, the invaded and non-invaded plots showed differences in soil characteristics and plant community: the thickness of the organic horizon, soil C:N and available P were higher in invaded plots, whereas diversity, light intensity, Allium ursinum abundance and its vegetative vigour were found to be lower. Microarthropod communities and QBS-ar were modestly influenced by R. bohemica. Redundancy analysis of plant community composition indicated that soil C:N and plant richness were the variables most linked to species invasion. This study highlights the ability of R. bohemica to transform certain ecosystem components in native riparian forests, after just a few decades since its first invasion, thereby underlining the need to implement measures to control its spread. Article Note: Rodolfo Gentili, Chiara Ferré and Elisa Cardarelli equally contributed to this article. Subject Editor: Guillaume Fried, ANSES, Maisons-Alfort, France Funding information Regione Lombardia CAPTION(S): TABLE S1: Physicochemical properties of soils collected from litter and three depths in invaded and non-invaded plots Table S2: Linear mixed model results for variable of soil, and plant and microarthropod communities Table S3: Abundance of microarthropods collected in invaded and non-invaded plots during October 2016 Byline: Rodolfo Gentili, Chiara Ferré, Elisa Cardarelli, Sarah Caronni, Chiara Montagnani, Davide Abu El Khair, Sandra Citterio, Roberto Comolli

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A728147472