Belowground interactions when controlling invasive species for restoration: insights in the Atlantic Forest coastal zones

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Emanuela W. A. Weidlich , Indiani Conti Della Vechia, João Paulo Ernzen, Maria Alice Neves

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Most of the restoration studies include aboveground parameters, and little is known about plant-fungi belowground interactions. Even less studies evaluate what happens belowground when non-native invasive species invade and are controlled. A better understanding of what happens belowground when restoring South American coastal vegetation may be useful to better plan restoration. To fulfil this knowledge gap, we used restinga (sandy coastal vegetation in the Brazilian Atlantic forest) as a model to investigate belowground parameters in communities under restoration. We evaluated the effect of controlling an invasive pine tree (Pinus spp.) on fine root productivity and ectomycorrhizal rate (% of ectomycorrhizae) in restinga plant communities, by collecting root samples in areas not invaded and invaded, and one where pine trees were controlled. . The community’s root biomass was lower in the invaded areas, showing that invasive species hindered the development of native species, and therefore reduced the number of fine roots. The removal of the invasive species resulted in a lower ectomycorrhizal rate. This may be related to the pine management, possibly because the exotic ectomycorrhizae (ECMs) were already decomposed while the native ECMs have not yet colonized those roots. Invasive species control affected fine root productivity and ECMs root colonization, confirming that these belowground interactions should be taken into account in ecological restoration.

Resource Type:
Conference Presentation, SER2021

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