Facilitations between the Introduced Nitrogen-fixing Tree, Robinia pseudoacacia, and Nonnative Plant Species in the Glacial Outwash Upland Ecosystem of Cape Cod, MA
First Online: 04 July 2005 Received: 16 June 2004 Accepted: 11 November 2004 DOI:
Cite this article as: Von Holle, B., Joseph, K.A., Largay, E.F. et al. Biodivers Conserv (2006) 15: 2197. doi:10.1007/s10531-004-6906-8 Abstract Robinia pseudoacacia, a nitrogen-fixing, clonal tree species native to the central Appalachian and Ozark Mountains, is considered to be one of the top 100 worldwide woody plant invaders. We initiated this project to determine the impact of black locust ( Robinia pseudoacacia) on an upland coastal ecosystem and to estimate the spread of this species within Cape Cod National Seashore (CCNS). We censused 20 × 20 m plots for vegetation cover and environmental characteristics in the center of twenty randomly-selected Robinia pseudoacacia stands. Additionally, paired plots were surveyed under native overstory stands, comprised largely of pitch pine ( Pinus rigida) and mixed pitch pine–oak ( Quercus velutina and Quercus alba) communities. These native stands were located 20 m from the edge of the sampled locust stand and had similar land use histories. To determine the historical distribution of black locust in CCNS, we digitized and georeferenced historical and current aerial photographs of randomly-selected stands. Ordination analyses revealed striking community-level differences between locust and pine–oak stands in their immediate vicinity. Understory nonnative species richness and abundance values were significantly higher under Robinia stands than under the paired native stands. Additionally, animal-dispersed plant species tended to occur in closer stands, suggesting their spread between locust stands. Robinia stand area significantly decreased from the 1970’s to 2002, prompting us to recommend no management action of black locust and a monitoring program and possible removal of associated animal-dispersed species. The introduction of a novel functional type (nitrogen-fixing tree) into this xeric, nutrient-poor, upland forested ecosystem resulted in ‘islands of invasion’ within this resistant system. Keywords Black locust Nonnative species Plant dispersal Robinia pseudoacacia Species diversity References Boring, L.R., Swank, W.T. 1984 The role of black locust ( Robinia pseudoacacia) in forest succession J. Ecol. 72 749 766 Google Scholar Bormann, B.T., Bormann, F.H., Bowden, W.B., Pierce, R.S., Hamburg, S.P., Wang, D., Snyder, M.C., Li, C.Y., Ingersoll, R.C. 1993 Rapid N2 fixation in pines, alderand locust - Evidence from the sandbox ecosystem study Ecology 74 583 598 CrossRef Google Scholar Chapman, A.G. 1935 The effects of black locust on associated species with special reference to forest trees Ecol. Monogr. 5 37 60 CrossRef Google Scholar Clark, J.S. 1986 Coastal forest tree populations in a changing environment, southeastern Long Island, New York Ecol. Monogr. 56 259 277 CrossRef Google Scholar Cronk, Q.C.B., Fuller, J.L. 1995Plant Invaders: The Threat to Natural Ecosystems Chapman and Hall London Google Scholar Cuno, J.B. 1919Utilization of Black Locust United States Department of Agriculture Washington D.C Google Scholar D’Antonio, C.M., Vitousek, P.M. 1992 Biological invasions by exotic grasses, the grass fire cycleand global change Ann. Rev. Ecol. Syst. 23 63 87 Google Scholar Daehler, C.C. 1998 The taxonomic distribution of invasive angiosperm plants: ecological insights and comparison to agricultural weeds Biol. Conserv. 84 167 180 CrossRef Google Scholar
Deacon J. 1997. The Microbial World: the Nitrogen Cycle and Nitrogen Fixation. Institute of Cell and Molecular Biology University of Edinburgh.
Diamond, J.M. 1972 Biogeographic kinetics – Estimation of relaxation times for avifaunas of southwest Pacific Islands Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 69 3199 PubMed CrossRef Google Scholar Donohue, K., Foster, D.R., Motzkin, G. 2000 Effects of the past and the present on species distribution: land-use history and demography of wintergreen J. Ecol. 88 303 316 CrossRef Google Scholar Dzwonko, Z., Loster, S. 1997 Effects of dominant trees and anthropogenic disturbances on species richness and floristic composition of secondary communities in southern Poland J. Appl. Ecol. 34 861 870 Google Scholar Eberhardt, R.W., Foster, D.R., Motzkin, G., Hall, B. 2003 Conservation of changing landscapes: Vegetation and land-use history of Cape Cod National Seashore Ecol. Appl. 13 68 84 Google Scholar Findley, J.S., Findley, M.T. 2001 Global, regional, and local patterns in species richness and abundance of butterflyfishes Ecol. Monogr. 71 69 91 CrossRef Google Scholar Foster, D.R., Motzkin, G. 2003 Interpreting and conserving the openland habitats of coastal New England: Insights from landscape history Forest Ecol. Manag. 185 127 150 CrossRef Google Scholar Gleason, H.A., Cronquist, A. 1991Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada New York Botanical Garden Bronx, N.Y., USA Google Scholar Hall, B., Motzkin, G., Foster, D.R., Syfert, M., Burk, J. 2002 Three hundred years of forest and land-use change in Massachusetts, USA J. Biogeogr. 29 1319 1335 CrossRef Google Scholar Higgins, S.I., Richardson, D.M. 1999 Predicting plant migration rates in a changing world: the role of long-distance dispersal Am. Nat. 153 464 475 CrossRef Google Scholar Howard, T.G., Gurevitch, J., Hyatt, L., Carreiro, M., Lerdau, M. 2004 Forest invasibility in communities in southeastern New York Biol. Invas. 6 393 410 CrossRef Google Scholar Kloot, P.M. 1983 The role of common iceplant ( Mesembryanthemum crystallinum) in the deterioration of medic pastures Aust. J. Ecol. 8 301 306 CrossRef Google Scholar Levin, S.A., Muller-Landau, H.C., Nathan, R., Chave, J. 2003 The ecology and evolution of seed dispersal: a theoretical perspective Ann. Rev. Ecol. Evol. Syst. 34 575 604 CrossRef Google Scholar Mack, M.C., D’Antonio, C.M. 1998 Impacts of biological invasions on disturbance regimes Trends Ecol. Evol. 13 195 198 CrossRef Google Scholar Martin, E.L. 2001Status of Exotic Plants at Cape Cod National Seashore National Park Service Wellfleet, MA Google Scholar McCune, B., Mefford, M.J. 1999PC-ORD. Multivariate Analysis of Ecological Data MjM Software Design Gleneden Beach, Oregon, USA Google Scholar Mehlich, A. 1984 Mehlich-3 soil test extractant – a modification of Mehlich-2 extractant Commun. Soil Sci. Plant Anal. 15 1409 1416 CrossRef Google Scholar Mehrhoff, L.J., Silander, J.A., Leicht, S.A., Mosher, E. 2003IPANE: Invasive Plant Atlas of New England Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Connecticut Storrs, CT, USA Google Scholar Miller, J.H. 2003Nonnative Invasive Plants of Southern Forests: A Field Guide for Identification and Control U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Forest Service Southern Research Station Asheville, NC Google Scholar Motzkin, G., Eberhardt, R., Hall, B., Foster, D.R., Harrod, J., MacDonald, D. 2002 Vegetation variation across Cape CodMassachusetts: environmental and historical determinants J. Biogeogr. 29 1439 1454 CrossRef Google Scholar Myers, J.A., Vellend, M., Gardescu, S., Marks, P.L. 2004 Seed dispersal by white-tailed deer: implications for long-distance dispersal, invasion, and migration of plants in eastern North America Oecologia 139 35 44 PubMed CrossRef Google Scholar Ogden, J.G. 1961 Forest history of Martha’s Vineyard Am. Midl. Nat. 66 417 430 CrossRef Google Scholar Olesniewicz, K.S., Thomas, R.B. 1999 Effects of mycorrhizal colonization on biomass production and nitrogen fixation of black locust ( Robinia pseudoacacia) seedlings grown under elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide New Phytol. 142 133 140 CrossRef Google Scholar Parker, I.M., Simberloff, D., Lonsdale, W.M., Goodell, K., Wonham, M., Karieva, P.M., Williamson, M.H., Holle, B., Moyle, P.B., Byers, J.E., Goldwasser, L. 1999 Impact: towards a framework for understanding the ecological effects of invaders Biol. Invas. 1 3 19 CrossRef Google Scholar Peloquin, R.L., Hiebert, R.D. 1999 The effects of black locust ( Robinia pseudoacacia L.) on species diversity and composition of black oak savanna/woodland communities Nat. Area J. 19 121 131 Google Scholar Porter, E. 2003Ozone Sensitive Plant Species on National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lands: Results of a June 24–25, 2003 Workshop Air Resources Division, National Park Service Baltimore, Maryland Google Scholar Rice, W.R. 1989 Analyzing tables of statistical tests Evolution 43 223 225 CrossRef Google Scholar
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. 2002. Electronic Plant Information Centre.
Royer, F., Dickinson, R. 1999Weeds of the Northern U.S. and Canada : A Guide for Identification Lone Pine Pub., University of Alberta Press Renton, WA Google Scholar Saxe, H., Cannell, M.G.R., Johnsen, B., Ryan, M.G., Vourlitis, G. 2001 Tree and forest functioning in response to global warming New Phytol. 149 369 399 CrossRef Google Scholar Shigesada, N., Kawasaki, K. 1997Biological Invasions: Theory and Practice Oxford University Press Oxford, New York Google Scholar Simberloff, D., Von Holle, B. 1999 Positive interactions of nonindigenous species: Invasional meltdown? Biol. Invas. 1 21 32 CrossRef Google Scholar Sorrie, B.A., Somers, P. 1999The Vascular Plants of Massachusetts: A County Checklist Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program Westborough, Mass Google Scholar Stone, T.A. 1999 The land cover and land use of Cape Cod, 1951–1990 Environ. Cape Cod 1 35 49 Google Scholar Storer, D.A. 1984 A simple high sample volume ashing procedure for determination of soil organic matter Commun. Soil Sci. Plant Anal. 15 759 772 Google Scholar
United States Congress. 1999. National Historic Preservation Act. 80 Stat 915:16 USC 470.
USDA 2004The PLANTS Database, Version 3.5 National Plant Data Center Baton Rouge, LA Google Scholar Uva, R.H., Neal, J.C., DiTomaso, J.M. 1997Weeds of the Northeast Comstock Publishing Associates Ithaca Google Scholar Vitousek, P.M. 1990 Biological invasions and ecosystem processes – Towards an integration of population biology and ecosystem studies Oikos 57 7 13 Google Scholar Vitousek, P.M., Walker, L.R. 1989 Biological invasion by Myrica faya in Hawaii – Plant demography, nitrogen fixation, ecosystem effects Ecol. Monogr. 59 247 265 CrossRef Google Scholar Vivrette, N.J., Muller, C.H. 1977 Mechanism of invasion and dominance of coastal grassland by Mesembryanthemum crystallinum Ecol. Monogr. 47 301 318 CrossRef Google Scholar Zar, J.H. 1999Biostat. Anal Prentice-Hall Englewood Cliffs, N.J., USA Google Scholar