Factors restraining parasitism of the invasive vine Mikania micrantha by the holoparasitic plant Cuscuta campestris
- 349 Downloads
Mikania micrantha (Asteraceae) is one of the 10 most invasive weeds in the world and has caused tremendous economic and environmental losses in southern China. The dodder Cuscuta campestris (Convolvulaceae) is a native holoparasite that can parasitize and suppress M. micrantha, and thus is recommended as an effective control agent. However, the natural growth of dodder lags behind that of M. micrantha and fails to exert direct year-round suppression. To verify the effective parasitic distance, we placed a dodder seedling at a designated distance from the stem of M. micrantha and monitored coiling, haustorium formation, and survival. To verify suitable host stems for the parasite, we grew M. micrantha for more than 6 months to form stems of different sizes, taped dodder seedlings to the stems, and monitored. We used various temperatures to determine the effect on dodder seed germination and M. micrantha sprouting. The results showed that a dodder–host distance of 4 cm decreased the probability of successful parasitism to 0; dodder seedlings cannot parasitize M. micrantha stem diameters ≥0.3 cm; and the temperatures for the highest dodder seed germination and M. micrantha sprouting are 26 and 30 °C, respectively. We conclude that the lack of suitable M. micrantha parts within the dodder’s effective parasitism distance is the major cause of restricted dodder parasitism and that the lower temperature for the highest dodder germination compared to that for the highest M. micrantha sprouting may decrease the possibility of parasitism. To acquire aggressive parasitism, dodder should be manually assisted by dispersing its vegetative form.
KeywordsInvasive weed Parasitic plant Germination Sprout Infection
We are grateful to Martin J. Booth for refining this manuscript and to two anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments, which greatly improved our study. This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant no. 30370243); the Science and Technology Department of Shenzhen, China (Grant no. 2007 No. 5); the Foundation of Human Settlements and Environment Commission of Shenzhen Municipality (Grant no. 2009); and the Special Fund for Agro-scientific Research in the Public Interest (Grant no. 201103027).
- Han SC, Li KH, Luo LF, Liu WH, Chen QX, Peng TX, Li LY (2002) Mikania Micrantha was destroyed by parasitic weed dodder, Cuscuta Chinensis, in Guangdong. Nat Enemies Insects 24:7–14Google Scholar
- Hu YJ, But PP (1994) A study on life cycle and response to herbicides of mikania micrantha. Acta Scientiarum Naturalium Universitatis Sunyatseni 33:88–95Google Scholar
- Li MG, Zhang WY, Liao WB, Wang BS, Zan QJ (2000) The history and status of the study on Mikania micrantha. Ecol Sci 19:41–45Google Scholar
- Li MG, Zhang WY, Wang BS, Zhang JL, Zan QJ, Wang YJ (2002) A preliminary study on the seed germination in Mikania micrantha. Acta Scientiarum Naturalium Universitatis Sunyatseni 41:57–59Google Scholar
- Lowe S, Browne M, Boudjelas S and De Poorter M (2001) 100 of the world’s worst invasive alien species. In: ISSG ISIS (ed) A selection from the Global Invasive Species Database, Auckland, New ZealandGoogle Scholar
- Shen H, Hong L, CHEN H, Ye WH, Cao HL, Wang ZM (2011) The response of the invasive weed Mikania micrantha to infection density of the obligate parasite Cuscuta campestris and its implications for biological control of M. micrantha. Bot Stud 52:89–97Google Scholar
- Wang BS, Wang YJ, Liao WB, Zan QJ, Li MG, Peng SL, Han S, Zhang WY, Chen D (2004) The invasion ecology and management of alien weed Mikania micrantha. H B.K. Science Press, BeijingGoogle Scholar
- Zan QJ, Li MG (2010) Practical techniques for controlling Mikania micrantha. Science Press, BeijingGoogle Scholar
- Zan QJ, Wang BS, Wang YJ, Liao WB, Li MG, Xu HL (2002) The ecological evaluation on the controlling Mikania micrantha by Cuscuta campestris. Acta Scientiarum Naturalium Universitatis Sunyatseni 41:50–53Google Scholar
- Zan QJ, Wang BS, Wang YJ, Zhang JL, Liao WB, Li MG (2003) The harm caused by Mikania Micrantha and its control by Cuscuta Campestris. Acta Phytoecologica Sinica 27:822–828Google Scholar
- Zhang WY, Wang BS, Li MG, Zan QJ and Wang YJ (2002) The branching pattern and biomass of Mikania micrantha shoot modules in Acacia confusa community and Miscanthus sinensis community. Acta Phytoecologica Sinica 346–350Google Scholar