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Harvard Forest Symposium Abstract 2008

  • Title: Suppression of native plant fungal mutualists in the home versus invaded range of garlic mustard
  • Primary Author: Kristina Stinson (University of Massachusetts - Amherst )
  • Additional Authors: Ray Callaway (The University of Montana); John Klironomos (University of Guelph)
  • Abstract:

    As one of North America’s most aggressive invaders of undisturbed

    forest understories, Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard), is known to inhibit mycorrhizal fungal mutualists of North American native plants. As part of a larger collaboration with authors at the University of Montana and elsewhere, we tested whether these inhibitory effects on mycorrhizas in invaded North American soils are stronger than on mycorrhizas in European soils where A.

    petiolata is native. We found that suppression of North American mycorrhizal

    fungi by A. petiolata corresponds with severe inhibition of North American plant species that rely on these fungi, whereas congeneric European plants are weakly affected. These results indicate that antifungal phytochemicals, benign to resistant mycorrhizal symbionts in the home range, suppresses mutualims in the introduced range but not in the home range. The Harvard Forest was a source of invaded and uninvaded experimental soils used in this large greenhouse study.

  • Research Category: Invasive Plants, Pests & Pathogens