Abstract Detail


Hoffpauir, Alexandria [1], Lubin, Terra K. [1], Bever, James D. [2].

Title: Analysis of weed suppression as a result of various ecological factors: species richness, phylogenetic dispersion, and soil community.

Abstract: Weedy and invasive plant species can dominate prairie restorations, creating management problems. Undesirable weeds may be suppressed by initial establishment of high diversity of native prairie plants. Undesirable weeds may also be suppressed through interactions with the soil microbiome. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) can be particularly important in tipping the competitive balance of weedy and desirable native plant species. Late-successional, native plant species are highly dependent on AMF and have been found to be particularly responsive to introduction of native prairie AMF in restorations on post-agricultural, degraded soil communities. To study how to more effectively manage weedy and invasive plant species, we developed a large field experiment using a randomized-factorial design. We planted 18 native plant species: six from three different families (Asteraceae, Fabaceae, and Poaceae). The design of this experiment includes the manipulation of several ecological factors: two levels of phylogenetic dispersion (over/under), five levels of species richness (1, 2, 3, 6, and 18), and three levels of soil community treatments (sterile, prairie whole soil, and AMF inoculated). We collected a biomass strip harvest and percent cover data to analyze the effects the treatments have on weedy plant species abundance and composition. This data was collected on all species present in the plot distinguishing weeds as species not planted. Four years after initiation native AMF inoculated plots had consistently lower and consistently decreasing invasive species richness compared to the sterile and prairie whole soil treatments. Weedy plant abundance was also suppressed by planted species richness. Increased planted species richness resulted in an increase in the cover of planted species and a decrease in the cover of weedy species and this effect became stronger over time. Our results suggest that planting high native plant species richness and native AMF inoculation may suppress problematic weeds and invasive species, thereby facilitating management of future restoration efforts.

1 - University of Kansas, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 1200 Sunnyside Avenue, Lawrence, KS, 66045, USA
2 - University of Kansas, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 1200 Sunnyside Avenue, Lawrence, Kansas, 66045, USA

invasive species
species richness
percent cover
phylogenetic diversity
AMF inoculation.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Number: EC10001
Abstract ID:1037
Candidate for Awards:None

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