Abstract Detail



Ecology

Elkin , Lucy Claire [1], Kilgore, Jason Scott [1].

Soil near decaying logs inhibits seedling growth...but not for garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata).

Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) is an invasive biennial plant to eastern North America that produces allelopathic secondary metabolites which kill mycorrhizae and reduce seed germination of native plant species, thus altering the composition of many forest plant communities. In addition, soil invaded by garlic mustard, which is itself non-mycorrhizal, has higher nutrient availability (N, P, Ca, Mg) and soil pH. In some but not all sites, garlic mustard populations will persist for extended periods of time. Even within a local habitat, plant size and abundance can vary, possibly from some microheterogeneity in resources. In this study, we investigated the effects of coarse woody debris (CWD, Prunus serotina) and soil collected from close (<30 cm) to and far (>100 cm) from a decaying log on the growth of seedlings of garlic mustard and other species in a controlled greenhouse experiment. We also tested the effect of pre-soaking the CWD, which we only found to increase the abundance of non-garlic mustard plants (p=0.02). Furthermore, the physical presence of CWD had no effect on the growth of garlic mustard (p>0.7) or on the abundance (p=0.09) or growth (p>0.12) of non-garlic mustard plants. Soil that came from close to a log had no effect on garlic mustard biomass (p=0.98), number of open leaves (p=0.15), or number of emerging leaves (p=0.52) but did result in longer leaf lengths (p=0.01). On the other hand, non-garlic mustard plants in soil far from CWD had greater biomass (p<0.001) and greater abundance (p<0.001) but no significant difference in height (p=0.09). While the species, decay state, and thus nutrient availability of the CWD may also be important, the growth of other plants was clearly inhibited in the soil close to the CWD. This suggests that residual secondary metabolites from garlic mustard in the soil near the CWD, where larger plants were observed in the field, may prevent growth of non-garlic mustard species, yet not affect the growth of garlic mustard.


1 - Washington & Jefferson College, Biology Department, 60 S Lincoln St, Washington, Pennsylvania, 15301, United States

Keywords:
coarse woody debris
invasive
garlic mustard
biomass
Growth.

Presentation Type: Poster
Number: PEC005
Abstract ID:126
Candidate for Awards:Ecological Section Best Undergraduate Presentation Award


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