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Soil mesofauna may buffer the negative effects of drought on alien plant invasion

Soil mesofauna may buffer the negative effects of drought on alien plant invasion

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JIN, Huifei, Liang CHANG, Mark VAN KLEUNEN, Yanjie LIU, 2022. Soil mesofauna may buffer the negative effects of drought on alien plant invasion. In: Journal of Ecology. Wiley. 11(11). ISSN 0022-0477. eISSN 1365-2745. Available under: doi: 10.1111/1365-2745.13950

@article{Jin2022-11mesof-57948, title={Soil mesofauna may buffer the negative effects of drought on alien plant invasion}, year={2022}, doi={10.1111/1365-2745.13950}, number={11}, volume={11}, issn={0022-0477}, journal={Journal of Ecology}, author={Jin, Huifei and Chang, Liang and van Kleunen, Mark and Liu, Yanjie} }

van Kleunen, Mark eng 2022-11 Chang, Liang Soil mesofauna may buffer the negative effects of drought on alien plant invasion Chang, Liang Liu, Yanjie 2022-07-06T06:58:21Z 2022-07-06T06:58:21Z Jin, Huifei Jin, Huifei Liu, Yanjie van Kleunen, Mark 1. Although many studies have tested the direct effects of drought on alien plant invasion, less is known about whether drought affects alien plant invasion indirectly via interactions of plants with other groups of organisms such as soil mesofauna.<br /><br />2. To test for such indirect effects, we grew single plants of nine naturalized alien target species in pot mesocosms with a community of five native grassland species under four combinations of two drought (well-watered vs. drought) and two soil-mesofauna inoculation (with vs. without) treatments.<br /><br />3. We found that drought decreased the absolute and the relative biomass production of the alien plants, and thus reduced their competitive strength in the native community. Drought also decreased the abundance of soil mesofauna, particularly soil mites, but did not affect the abundance and richness of soil herbivores. Soil-fauna inoculation did not affect the biomass of the alien plants but increased the biomass of the native plant community, and thereby decreased the relative biomass production of the alien plants. This increased invasion resistance due to soil fauna, however, tended (p = 0.09) to be stronger for plants growing under well-watered conditions than under drought.<br /><br />4. Synthesis. Our multispecies experiment thus shows that soil fauna might help native communities to resist alien plant invasions, but that this effect might be weakened under drought. In other words, soil mesofauna may buffer the negative effects of drought on alien plant invasions.

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