Plant Ecology and Evolution 146(1): 45-52, doi: 10.5091/plecevo.2013.739
Fungal colonization of the invasive vine Vincetoxicum rossicum and native plants
expand article infoCindy L. Bongard, Garthika Navaranjan, Wei Yan, Roberta R. Fulthorpe
Open Access
Background and aimsVincetoxicum rossicum (Kleopow) Barbar., an aggressive European plant invader found in Eastern North America, has properties that enable it to establish large monocultures over time, displacing native species and their associated fauna. It has been proposed that V. rossicum also establishes associations with a subgroup of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) that are generalists described as having high infectivity and are particularly efficient with regard to phosphorus uptake. Such associations may also enhance seedling recruitment in mechanically disrupted areas due to the ability of these AMF to colonize roots directly via hyphal fragments as well as via direct spore germination. As well, invasive plants are also suggested to be fungal generalists, providing advantages when establishing in novel environments where fungi may be different from those in their native range. Materials and methods – In a laboratory study we used molecular techniques to investigate the fungal associations of V. rossicum and local native plants goldenrod ( Solidago spp.), wild ginger ( Asarum canadense ), and Canada anemone ( Anemone canadensis ) growing in dense patches of V. rossicum . Key results – The findings indicate that V. rossicum forms associations with a broad array of fungal partners relative to proximal native plants, suggesting the likelihood of it being a fungal generalist. As well, V. rossicum was found to associate with a subgroup of described opportunistic AMF such as Glomus intraradices, G. caledonium, G. fasciculatum and Glomus mosseae, while natives growing within V. rossicum patches were not. Conclusion – Our results suggest that V. rossicum is a fungal generalist, a trait that is beneficial in establishment and persistence. It is useful to understand the fungal association dynamics of V. rossicum when attempting to restore invaded sites, as inoculation with fungal species that are particularly beneficial to the establishment of V. rossicum may be avoided.