The impact of Carpobrotus cfr. acinaciformis (L.) L. Bolus on soil nutrients, microbial communities structure and native plant communities in Mediterranean ecosystems

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Abstract

Background and aims Carpobrotus spp. are amongst the most impactful and widespread plant invaders ofMediterranean habitats. Despite the negative ecological impacts on soil and vegetation that have been documented,information is still limited about the effect by Carpobrotus on soil microbial communities. We aimedto assess the changes in the floristic, soil and microbial parameters following the invasion by Carpobrotus cfr.acinaciformis within an insular Mediterranean ecosystem.Methods Within three study areas a paired-site approach, comparing an invaded vs. a non-invaded plot, wasestablished. Within each plot biodiversity indexes, C and N soil content, pH and microbial biomass and structure(bacterial and fungal) were assessed.Results Invaded plots showed a decrease of α-species richness and diversity. The least represented plant speciesin invaded plots were those related to grassland habitats. In all invaded soils, a significant increase of carbon andnitrogen content and a significant decrease of pH were registered. Carpobrotus significantly increased bacterialand fungal biomass and altered soil microbial structure, particularly favoring fungal growth.Conclusions Carpobrotus may deeply impact edaphic properties and microbial communities and, in turn, thesestrong modifications probably increase its invasive potential and its ability to overcome native species, by preventing their natural regeneration.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Numero di pagine0
RivistaPlant and Soil
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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  • ???subjectarea.asjc.1100.1110???

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