30 August 2007

Garlic Mustard - killing trees by changing soils' microbial communities?

Phytotoxic chemicals produced by A. petiolata may interfere with growth of native species, potentially through inhibition of mycorrhizal activity - Vaughn and Berhow, 1999.

"Garlic Mustard Alliaria petiolata infestations shift microbial community structure by increasing the population of free-living nitrogen fixing bacteria. As garlic mustard is currently invading forests at high rates there is a concern that changes in microbial community structure will alter nutrient availability or competitive dynamics of aboveground biomass and alter nutrient dynamics of North American forests." Possible shifts of microbial community structure in temperate forests of central Illinois ...the adverse effects of an invasive species, Alliaria petiolata, on pine plantation stands.

For more information please see other Garlic Mustard, mycorrhiza or invasive plant resources posted on this blog.

Here's a good, relatively local & easy to understand Garlic Mustard Fact Sheet from the Fletcher Wildlife Garden in Ottawa.

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