Environmental Management

, Volume 52, Issue 6, pp 1453–1462 | Cite as

Light Availability Prevails Over Soil Fertility and Structure in the Performance of Asian Knotweeds on Riverbanks: New Management Perspectives

  • Fanny DommangetEmail author
  • Thomas Spiegelberger
  • Paul Cavaillé
  • André Evette


Asian knotweeds (Fallopia spp.) are considered one of the world’s most invasive species. Restoring habitats dominated by these exotic species requires a better understanding of the importance of abiotic factors controlling the invasive knotweeds performance. We used observational data obtained on the embankment of the Isère River (France) to study the performance of Fallopia spp. under different soil, light, and disturbance conditions. On the Isère riverbanks, light intensity assessed by light quantity transmitted through canopy was the most important factor explaining the variability observed on knotweed performance expressed as above-ground biomass per square meter. Asian knotweeds were more productive under intensive light conditions. Alternatively other factors such as mowing (twice a year), soil fertility, soil texture, position on the bank or exposure to the sun had no significant effect on knotweed biomass production. We conclude that decreasing light resources, for example, by increasing competitive pressure on sites dominated by Asian knotweeds could be included in management plans to control the populations of this invasive taxon.


Ecological engineering Disturbance Fallopia Light Mowing Soil 



The authors wish to thank Nathan Daumergue for his valuable assistance in the field work. We are also grateful to Alain Bédécarrat, Marie-Laure Navas and two anonymous reviewers for advice and useful comments that greatly improved this manuscript. We would also like to thank the Alpine Botanical Conservatory (CBNA) and the ADIDR for their data sets on Asian knotweeds presence on the Isère territory. Funding was provided by the National Research Institute of Science and Technology for Environment and Agriculture (Irstea) and by the Paris Institute of Technology for Life, Food, and Environmental Sciences (AgroParisTech-ENGREF).

Conflict of interest

Authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical standards

Authors declare that this experiment complies with the current laws of France.

Supplementary material

267_2013_160_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (11 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 11 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fanny Dommanget
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Thomas Spiegelberger
    • 2
    • 3
  • Paul Cavaillé
    • 2
  • André Evette
    • 2
  1. 1.Research Unit Mountain EcosystemsAgroParisTech, ENGREFSaint-Martin-d’HèresFrance
  2. 2.Research Unit Mountain EcosystemsIrsteaSaint-Martin-d’HèresFrance
  3. 3.Restoration Ecology Research GroupLaboratory of Ecological Systems (ECOS) - Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL), Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)LausanneSwitzerland

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