Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi increase the invasiveness of Solidago canadensis through enhanced dependence: Evidence from a biogeographical comparison
Invasive plants could form mutualistic relationship with certain type of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), but it is unknown whether invasive plant promote its competitive ability through enhanced AMF dependence. We used comparative biogeographical studies (field sampling and bi-directional common garden experiments) to test the difference of AMF community of S. canadensis from native and invasive ranges. Following which, we used stable isotopic 15N labeling method to assess the level of AMF dependency in S. canadensis originating from two ranges. Third, we assessed the competitive ability between S. canadensis originating from the two ranges and the effect of AMF on this competition.
NMDS analysis and ANOSIM showed that AMF composition in S. canadensis from native and invasive ranges had high similarity, although AMF composition in soil from both ranges differed greatly. S. canadensis from invasive range had higher dependency on four of the generalized AMF species than from the native range. The higher AMF dependency promoted the growth and competitive ability of S. canadensis. Our findings indicated that S. canadensis promote its competitive ability through enhanced AMF dependence.