Invasive grasses selfish in soil conditioning

A greenhouse study on native and non-native grasses from the Great Basin looks at changes in soil nutrient levels and soil microbes among species.  The researchers found that although both native and non-native grasses condition soils, the changes caused by native plants tended to favor the growth of other species, while conditioning by the non-native grasses tended to favor only their own growth.  The non-native grasses studied included Bromus tectorum, Taeniatherum caput-medusae, Agropyron cristata, and Aegilops triuncialis.  These were compared to the native grasses Elymus elymoides, Pseudoroegmeria spicata, and Vulpia microstachys.

Perkins, L. B. and Nowak, R. S. (2012). Native and non-native grasses generate common types of plant–soil feedbacks by altering soil nutrients and microbial communities. Oikos, online 31 May 2012. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0706.2012.20592.x

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