Differences in native soil ecology associated with invasion of the exotic annual chenopod, Halogeton glomeratus
Biology and Fertility of Soils
Various biotic and abiotic components of soil ecology differed significantly across an area where Halogeton glomeratus is invading a native winterfat, [ Krascheninnikovia (= Ceratoides) lanata] community. Nutrient levels were significantly different among the native, ecotone, and exotic-derived soils. NO3, P, K, and Na all increased as the cover of halogeton increased. Only Ca was highest in the winterfat area. A principal components analysis, conducted separately for water-soluble and exchangeable cations, revealed clear separation between halogeton- and winterfat-derived soils. The diversity of soil bacteria was highest in the exotic, intermediate in the ecotone, and lowest in the native community. Although further studies are necessary, our results offer evidence that invasion by halogeton alters soil chemistry and soil ecology, possibly creating conditions that favor halogeton over native plants.
Duda, J. J., Freeman, D. C., Emlen, J. M., Belnap, J., Kitchen, S. G., Zak, J. C., Sobek, E., Tracy, M., and Montante, J., 2003, Differences in native soil ecology associated with invasion of the exotic annual chenopod, Halogeton glomeratus: Biology and Fertility of Soils, v. 38, p. 72-77.