Plant and Soil

, Volume 437, Issue 1–2, pp 301–311 | Cite as

Waterlogging tolerance of Bidens pilosa translates to increased competitiveness compared to native Bidens biternata

  • Maofeng Yue
  • Hao ShenEmail author
  • Weihua Li
  • Jinfeng Chen
  • Wanhui Ye
  • Xingshan Tian
  • Aiguo Yin
  • Shuiming Cheng
Regular Article


Background and aims

Waterlogging is a common natural disturbance that has negative impacts on dry-land plant species. However, few studies have focused on how waterlogging influences the invasiveness of non-native plant species on dry lands. Bidens pilosa is an invasive dry-land plant of the Asteraceae family that causes serious damage to biodiversity and agricultural production in southern China. To date, it remains unclear how waterlogging affects the competitiveness and growth of B. pilosa. The goal of this study is to determine whether waterlogging promotes the competitiveness of invasive B. pilosa.


The growth and physiological responses of invasive B. pilosa and native B. biternata and the competition effects between them were studied after 0 (control), 5, 10, 15, and 20 days of waterlogging stress (wherein the water level was maintained at the soil surface level).


After short-term waterlogging stress, the competitive balance index of invasive B. pilosa significantly increased, indicating that short-term waterlogging on dry lands could significantly improve the competitiveness of invasive B. pilosa. Invasive B. pilosa maintained more rapid adventitious root generating capacity and higher root dehydrogenase activity under waterlogging conditions than native B. biternata, which allowed B. pilosa to adapt to the anoxic conditions much more rapidly. The smaller reductions in net photosynthetic rate, actual quantum yield of photosystem II and relative growth rate in B. pilosa than in B. biternata showed that invasive B. pilosa had stronger tolerance to waterlogging than native B. biternata.


Our results indicate that invasive B. pilosa has stronger tolerance to waterlogging than native B. biternata and that short-term waterlogging on dry lands can significantly improve the competitiveness of invasive B. pilosa. Short-term waterlogging on dry lands caused by extreme precipitation during the rainy season is expected to promote the invasive potential of exotic B. pilosa.


Invasive plants Bidens pilosa Waterlogging Growth Physiological responses Competitiveness 



This work was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (31370446), National Key Technologies R&D Program of China (2015BAD08B02), Science and Technology Program of Guangdong (2014B020206003), Talent Introduction Project of Guangdong University of Petrochemical Technology (2018RC58), and Foundation of President of Guangdong Academy of Agricultural Sciences (201610).

Supplementary material

11104_2019_3967_MOESM1_ESM.doc (46 kb)
ESM 1 (DOC 46 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maofeng Yue
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Hao Shen
    • 2
    Email author
  • Weihua Li
    • 5
  • Jinfeng Chen
    • 6
  • Wanhui Ye
    • 2
  • Xingshan Tian
    • 4
  • Aiguo Yin
    • 1
  • Shuiming Cheng
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Biological and Food EngineeringGuangdong University of Petrochemical TechnologyMaomingChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Vegetation Restoration and Management of Degraded Ecosystems/Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Applied Botany, South China Botanical GardenChinese Academy of SciencesGuangzhouChina
  3. 3.College of Resources and EnvironmentUniversity of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  4. 4.Institute of Plant ProtectionGuangdong Academy of Agricultural Sciences/ Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of High Technology for Plant ProtectionGuangzhouChina
  5. 5.Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Biotechnology for Plant Development; Guangzhou Key Laboratory of Subtropical Biodiversity and Biomonitoring; School of Life ScienceSouth China Normal UniversityGuangzhouChina
  6. 6.Environmental Horticulture Research InstituteGuangdong Academy of Agricultural Sciences/Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Ornamental Plant Germplasm Innovation and UtilizationGuangzhouChina

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