Mycorrhizosphere mediated Mayweed Chamomile invasion in the Kashmir Himalaya, India
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Recent studies have established the controlling influence of rhizospheric biota, especially arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), on colonization and spread of some alien plants in their introduced range. But how AMF from different geographical sources influence traits that contribute to invasiveness, particularly in presence of neighbouring plants of other species, has been rarely investigated. Thus, we compared the influence of some local (Kashmir Himalayan isolates) and non-local (isolates from Rajasthan, India) AMF isolates of Glomus moseae, G. fasciculatum and Gigaspora margarita on vegetative and reproductive attributes of Mayweed Chamomile (Anthemis cotula L.), a highly invasive species in the Kashmir Himalaya, India. We also examined whether or not the neighbouring plant species, namely Daucus carota L. (Apiaceae) alters the mutualistic interaction between the AMF and A. cotula. Pot experiments revealed greater positive impact of the local than the non-local AMF on vegetative as well as reproductive attributes of A. cotula. Experimental field studies showed that the incidence of highly prevalent Arum-type mycorrhizal colonization in natural populations of A. cotula was reduced in presence of D. carota. Besides, the local AMF significantly promoted growth of A. cotula more than D. carota under mixed-culture conditions. These results suggest that the facilitation of some alien plant invasions by AMF needs to be considered together with plant–plant interactions and invasion-induced changes in the soil microbial community.
KeywordsAnthemis cotula Arbuscular mycorrhizas Chamomile invasion India Kashmir Himalaya Mycorrhizosphere
We thank Stefano Benvenuti, ARI, University of Pisa, Italy, for providing information about A. cotula in its native range and C.C. Daehler, University of Hawaii, Manoa, USA, Ian Baldwin, Max Planck Institute, Germany, and R. Callaway, University of Montana, USA, for their suggestions and critical appraisal of the earlier draft of this manuscript and providing useful suggestions. First author thanks the International Foundation of Sciences (IFS) Sweden for sponsoring his visit to Montpllier, France to attend and present this paper in the international conference Rhizosphere 2. The authors are indebted to two anonymous reviewers for their valuable suggestions that helped considerably to improve quality of the manuscript.
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