Belowground interactions of range-expanding plant species, root-feeding nematodes and their antagonists

R.A. Wilschut

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

Abstract

As a consequence of climate change many plant species are expanding their range to higher latitudes and altitudes. As soil organisms are slow dispersers, the question rises how plant-soil interactions of range expanding plants develop in newly colonized areas assuming that the associated soil biota do not keep up with the fast expansion rate of their host plants. Range-expanding plants have been shown to be generally less negatively affected by soil communities in the new range than congeneric native plant species. This may be explained because fewer herbivores and pathogens are able to attacking the range expanding plants in the new range, either because of a lack of co-evolutionary history or by stronger direct or indirect defense mechanisms of the range expanding plant species compared to their native congeners. We study how multitrophic interactions develop in the rhizosphere of range-expanding plants in their new range. We will show results of a greenhouse experiment in which we expose range-expanding plant species and native congeners from the new range to different generalist root-feeding nematode species and microbial communities, which contain nematode antagonists, both from the new range. We examine the control of the nematodes both bottom-up (by the plant) and top-down (by antagonistic microbiota) and compare the growth of the plants in response to the nematode species with and without microbial communities. We test the hypotheses that 1) if top-down control of root-feeding nematodes is plant-mediated, this will be stronger in native species than in range-expanders, as native plants have a shared evolutionary history with the soil community and 2) range-expanding plants are better defended against generalist root-feeding nematodes than congeneric natives, because of strong direct defense mechanisms.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventThe First Global Soil Biodiversity Conference on Assessing soil biodiversity and its role for ecosystem services, Dijon, France -
Duration: 2 Dec 20145 Dec 2014

Conference

ConferenceThe First Global Soil Biodiversity Conference on Assessing soil biodiversity and its role for ecosystem services, Dijon, France
Period2/12/145/12/14

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