Advertisement

Ecosystems

, 14:904 | Cite as

Understory Invasion by Acacia longifolia Alters the Water Balance and Carbon Gain of a Mediterranean Pine Forest

  • Katherine G. RascherEmail author
  • André Große-Stoltenberg
  • Cristina Máguas
  • Christiane Werner
Article

Abstract

In water-limited ecosystems, where potential evapotranspiration exceeds precipitation, it is often assumed that plant invasions will not increase total ecosystem water use, because all available water is evaporated or transpired regardless of vegetation type. However, invasion by exotic species, with high water use rates, may potentially alter ecosystem water balance by reducing water available to native species, which may in turn impact carbon assimilation and productivity of co-occurring species. Here, we document the impact of invasion by an understory exotic woody species (Acacia longifolia) in a semi-arid Mediterranean dune pine forest. To quantify the effects of this understory leguminous tree on the water use and carbon fixation rates of Pinus pinaster we compare an invaded and a non-invaded stand. A. longifolia significantly altered forest structure by increasing plant density and leaf area index in the mid-stratum of the invaded forest. A. longifolia contributed significantly to transpiration in the invaded forest (up to 42%) resulting in a slight increase in stand transpiration in the invaded relative to non-invaded forest. More importantly, both water use and carbon assimilation rates of P. pinaster were significantly reduced in the invaded relative to non-invaded stand. Therefore, this study shows that exotic plant invasions can have significant impacts on hydrological and carbon cycling even in water-limited semi-arid ecosystems through a repartitioning of water resources between the native and the invasive species.

Keywords

competition delta 13-C ecohydrology invasion ecology Mediterranean nitrogen Pinus pinaster sap flux transpiration water cycle 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Funding for this project was provided by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, (TRANSDUNE Project: # WE 2681/3-1). KGR gratefully acknowledges additional funding from the PEO Scholar Award. We also thank the Estabelecimento Prisional de Pinheiro da Cruz for logistical support and allowing the establishment of our field site. We are also grateful to Ana Julia Pereira, Tine Hellmann and Rabea Sutter for their assistance in the field and Babsi Teichner for isotope analyses.

References

  1. Benson D, McDougall L. 1996. Ecology of Sydney plant species part 4: dicotyledon family Fabaceae. Cunninghamia 4:552–752.Google Scholar
  2. Bhark EW, Small EE. 2003. Association between plant canopies and the spatial patterns of infiltration in shrubland and grassland of the Chihuahuan desert, New Mexico. Ecosystems 6:185–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Brauman KA, Daily GC, Duarte TK, Mooney HA. 2007. The nature and value of ecosystem services: an overview highlighting hydrologic services. Ann Rev Environ Resour 32:67–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bristow M, Vanclay JK, Brooks L, Hunt M. 2006. Growth and species interactions of Eucalyptus pellita in a mixed and monoculture plantation in the humid tropics of north Queensland. For Ecol Manag 233:285–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Calder I, Dye P. 2001. Hydrological impacts of invasive alien plants. Land Use Water Resour Res 1:1–12.Google Scholar
  6. Cavaleri MA, Sack L. 2010. Comparative water use of native and invasive plants at multiple scales: a global meta-analysis. Ecology 91:2705–15.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cleverly JR, Dahm CN, Thibault JR, McDonnell DE, Allred Coonrod JE. 2006. Riparian ecohydrology: regulation of water flux from the ground to the atmosphere in the middle Rio Grande, New Mexico. Hydrol Process 20:3207–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Delzon S, Sartore M, Granier A, Loustau D. 2004. Radial profiles of sap flow with increasing tree size in maritime pine. Tree Physiol 24:1285–93.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Devaux M, Ghashghaie J, Bert D, Lambrot C, Gessler A, Bathellier C, Ogee J, Loustau D. 2009. Carbon stable isotope ratio of phloem sugars in mature pine trees throughout the growing season: comparison of two extraction methods. Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom 23:2511–18.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Edwards WRN, Becker P, Cermak J. 1997. A unified nomenclature for sap flow measurements. Tree Physiol 17:65–7.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Ewers BE, Mackay DS, Gower ST, Ahl DE, Burrows SN, Samanta SS. 2002. Tree species effects on stand transpiration in northern Wisconsin. Water Resour Res 38:1103. doi: 10.1029/2001WR000830.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Ewers BE, Gower ST, Bond-Lamberty B, Wang CK. 2005. Effects of stand age and tree species on canopy transpiration and average stomatal conductance of boreal forests. Plant Cell Environ 28:660–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Farquhar GD, O’Leary MH, Berry JA. 1982. On the relationship between carbon isotope discrimination and the intercellular carbon dioxide concentration in leaves. Aust J Plant Physiol 9:121–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Forrester DI, Theiveyanathan S, Collopy JJ, Marcar NE. 2010. Enhanced water use efficiency in a mixed Eucalyptus globulus and Acacia mearnsii plantation. For Ecol Manag 259:1761–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Forrester DI, Bauhus J, Cowie AL. 2005. On the success and failure of mixed-species tree plantations: lessons learned from a model system of Eucalyptus globulus and Acacia mearnsii. For Ecol Manag 209:147–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Forrester DI, Bauhus J, Cowie AL, Vanclay JK. 2006a. Mixed-species plantations of Eucalyptus with nitrogen-fixing trees: a review. For Ecol Manag 233:211–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Forrester DI, Bauhus J, Cowie AL. 2006b. Carbon allocation in a mixed-species plantation of Eucalyptus globulus and Acacia mearnsii. For Ecol Manag 233:275–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Frazer GW, Canham CD, Lertzman KP. 1999. Gap Light Analyzer (GLA), Version 2.0: imaging software to extract canopy structure and gap light transmission indices from true-colour fisheye photographs, users manual and program documentation. Millbrook, New York: Institute of Ecosystem Studies.Google Scholar
  19. Fritzsche F, Abate A, Fetene M, Beck E, Weise S, Guggenberger G. 2006. Soil-plant hydrology of indigenous and exotic trees in an Ethiopian montane forest. Tree Physiol 26:1043–54.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Gessler A, Rennenberg H, Keitel C. 2004. Stable isotope composition of organic compounds transported in the phloem of European beech—evaluation of different methods of phloem sap collection and assessment of gradients in carbon isotope composition during leaf-to-stem transport. Plant Biol 6:721–9.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Granier A. 1985. Une nouvelle méthode pour la mesure du flux de sève brute dans le tronc des arbres. Ann For Sci 42:193–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hellmann C, Sutter R, Rascher KG, Máguas C, Correia O, Werner C. 2011. Impact of an exotic N2-fixing Acacia on composition and N status of a native Mediterranean community. Acta Oecol Int J Ecol 37:43–50. doi: 10.1016/j.actao.2010.11.005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hunt MA, Beadle CL. 1998. Whole-tree transpiration and water-use partitioning between Eucalyptus nitens and Acacia dealbata weeds in a short-rotation plantation in northeastern Tasmania. Tree Physiol 18:557–63.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Huxman TE, Wilcox BP, Breshears DD, Scott RL, Snyder KA, Small EE, Hultine K, Pockman WT, Jackson RB. 2005. Ecohydrological implications of woody plant encroachment. Ecology 86:308–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Iida S, Tanaka T, Sugita M. 2005. Change of interception process due to the succession from Japanese red pine to evergreen oak. J Hydrol 315:154–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Ishii HT, Kobayashi T, Uemura S, Takahashi K, Hanba YT, Sumida A, Hara T. 2008. Removal of understory dwarf bamboo (Sasa kurilensis) induces changes in water-relations characteristics of overstory Betula ermanii trees. J For Res 13:101–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Jaeger H, Kowarik I, Tye A. 2009. Destruction without extinction: long-term impacts of an invasive tree species on Galapagos highland vegetation. J Ecol 97:1252–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Kagawa A, Sack L, Duarte K, James S. 2009. Hawaiian native forest conserves water relative to timber plantation: species and stand traits influence water use. Ecol Appl 19:1429–43.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Kelty MJ. 2006. The role of species mixtures in plantation forestry. For Ecol Manag 233:195–204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Kume A, Satomura T, Tsuboi N, Chiwa M, Hanba YT, Nakane K, Horikoshi T, Sakugawa H. 2003. Effects of understory vegetation on the ecophysiological characteristics of an overstory pine, Pinus densiflora. For Ecol Manag 176:195–203.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Kutner MH, Nachtsheim CJ, Neter J, Li W. 2004. Applied linear statistical models. New York: McGraw Hill Irwin.Google Scholar
  32. Marchante H, Marchante E, Freitas H. 2003. Invasion of the Portuguese dune ecosystems by the exotic species Acacia longifolia (Andrews) Willd.: effects at the community level. In: Child LE, Brock JH, Brundu G, Prach K, Pyšek P, Wade PM, Williamsons M, Eds. Plant invasions: ecological threats and management solutions. Backhuys: Leiden. p 75–85.Google Scholar
  33. Marchante E, Kjoller A, Struwe S, Freitas H. 2008a. Short- and long-term impacts of Acacia longifolia invasion on the belowground processes of a Mediterranean coastal dune ecosystem. Appl Soil Ecol 40:210–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Marchante E, Kjoller A, Struwe S, Freitas H. 2008b. Invasive Acacia longifolia induce changes in the microbial catabolic diversity of sand dunes. Soil Biol Biochem 40:2563–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Marchante E, Kjoller A, Struwe S, Freitas H. 2009. Soil recovery after removal of the N2-fixing invasive Acacia longifolia: consequences for ecosystem restoration. Biol Invasions 11:813–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Miller BJ, Clinton PW, Buchan GD, Robson AB. 1998. Transpiration rates and canopy conductance of Pinus radiata growing with different pasture understories in agroforestry systems. Tree Physiol 18:575–82.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Moore GW, Bond BJ, Jones JA, Phillips N, Meinzer FC. 2004. Structural and compositional controls on transpiration in 40- and 450-year-old riparian forests in western Oregon, USA. Tree Physiol 24:481–91.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. Neave HM, Norton TW. 1998. Biological inventory for conservation evaluation—IV, composition, distribution and spatial prediction of vegetation assemblages in southern Australia. For Ecol Manag 106:259–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Newman BD, Wilcox BP, Archer SR, Breshears DD, Dahm CN, Duffy CJ, McDowell NG, Phillips FM, Scanlon BR, Vivoni ER. 2006. Ecohydrology of water-limited environments: a scientific vision. Water Resour Res 42:W06302. doi: 10.1029/2005WR004141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Oren R, Sperry JS, Ewers BE, Pataki DE, Phillips N, Megonigal JP. 2001. Sensitivity of mean canopy stomatal conductance to vapor pressure deficit in a flooded Taxodium distichum L. forest: hydraulic and non-hydraulic effects. Oecologia 126:21–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Peperkorn R, Werner C, Beyschlag W. 2005. Phenotypic plasticity of an invasive acacia versus two native Mediterranean species. Funct Plant Biol 32:933–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Pinto I, Pereira H, Usenius A. 2004. Heartwood and sapwood development within maritime pine (Pinus pinaster Ait.) stems. Trees Struct Funct 18:284–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Potts DL, Scott RL, Bayram S, Carbonara J. 2010. Woody plants modulate the temporal dynamics of soil moisture in a semi-arid mesquite savanna. Ecohydrology 3:20–7.Google Scholar
  44. Prater MR, DeLucia EH. 2006. Non-native grasses alter evapotranspiration and energy balance in Great Basin sagebrush communities. Agric For Meteorol 139:154–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Pressland AJ. 1976. Soil moisture redistribution as affected by throughfall and stemflow in an arid zone shrub community. Aust J Bot 24:641–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. R Development Core Team. 2008. R: A language and environment for statistical computing. Vienna, Austria: R foundation for Statistical Computing.Google Scholar
  47. Rascher KG, Maguas C, Werner C. 2010. On the use of phloem sap δ13C as an indicator of canopy carbon discrimination. Tree Physiol 30:1499–514. doi: 10.1093/treephys/tpq036.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Rascher KG, Große-Stoltenberg A, Maguas C, Meira-Neto JAA, Werner C. 2011. Acacia longifolia invasion impacts vegetation structure and regeneration dynamics in open dunes and pine forests. Biol Invasions 13:1099–1113. doi: 10.1007/s10530-011-9949-2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Ross KA, Taylor JE, Fox MD, Fox BJ. 2004. Interaction of multiple disturbances: importance of disturbance interval in the effects of fire on rehabilitating mined areas. Austral Ecology 29:508–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Rothe A, Binkley D. 2001. Nutritional interactions in mixed species forests: a synthesis. Can J For Res 31:1855–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Ryan MG, Stape JL, Binkley D, Fonseca S, Loos RA, Takahashi EN, Silva CR, Silva SR, Hakamada RE, Ferreira JM, Lima AMN, Gava JL, Leite LP, Andrade HB, Alves JM, Silva GGC. 2010. Factors controlling Eucalyptus productivity: how water availability and stand structure alter production and carbon allocation. For Ecol Manag 259:1695–703.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Sax DF, Gaines SD. 2008. Species invasions and extinctions: the future of native biodiversity on islands. Proc Natl Acad Sci 105:11490–7.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Segoli M, Ungar ED, Shachak M. 2008. Shrubs enhance resilience of a semi-arid ecosystem by engineering and regrowth. Ecohydrology 1:330–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Shafroth PB, Cleverly JR, Dudley TL, Taylor JP, van Riper C, Weeks EP, Stuart JN. 2005. Control of Tamarix in the western United States: implications for water salvage, wildlife use and riparian restoration. Environ Manage 35:231–46.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Trichet P, Loustau D, Lambrot C, Linder S. 2008. Manipulating nutrient and water availability in a maritime pine plantation: effects on growth, production, and biomass allocation at canopy closure. Ann For Sci 65:814–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Vertessy RA, Watson FGR, O’Sullivan SK. 2001. Factors determining relations between stand age and catchment water balance in mountain ash forests. For Ecol Manag 143:13–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Werner C, Correia O, Beyschlag W. 1999. Two different strategies of Mediterranean macchia plants to avoid photoinhibitory damage by excessive radiation levels during summer drought. Acta Oecol 20:15–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Werner C, Zumkier U, Beyschlag W, Máguas C. 2010. High competitiveness of a resource demanding invasive acacia under low resource supply. Plant Ecol 206:83–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Wilcox BP, Thurow TL. 2006. Emerging issues in rangeland ecohydrology: vegetation change and the water cycle. Rangel Ecol Manag 59:220–4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Wilcox BP, Owens MK, Dugas WA, Ueckert DN, Hart CR. 2006. Shrubs, streamflow, and the paradox of scale. Hydrol Process 20:3245–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katherine G. Rascher
    • 1
    Email author
  • André Große-Stoltenberg
    • 2
  • Cristina Máguas
    • 3
  • Christiane Werner
    • 1
  1. 1.Experimental and Systems EcologyUniversity of BielefeldBielefeldGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Landscape EcologyUniversity of MünsterMünsterGermany
  3. 3.Centre for Environmental Biology (CBA)University of LisbonLisbonPortugal

Personalised recommendations