Projects per year
As a consequence of climate warming many plant species are expanding their range to higher latitudes and altitudes, thereby leaving behind their rhizosphere soil organisms. It is unknown how new rhizosphere communities become assembled in the new range. Generally, range-expanding plant species are less negatively affected by soil communities in the new range than congeneric native plant species. This may be due to a lower amount of herbivores and pathogens that are able to attack 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. We study how specific multitrophic interactions develop in the rhizospheres of range-expanding plant species. In a greenhouse experiment we exposed two range-expanding plant species and their congeneric natives to different generalist root-feeding nematodes and inoculated microbial communities that may contain antagonists of the nematodes. Subsequently, we examined if nematode population growth differed between range-expanding and native plant species and if top-down control of nematodes by the microbial communities was plant species-dependent. We tested 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 local soil community and 2) range-expanding plants are better defended against generalist root-feeding nematodes than congeneric natives, because of strong direct defense mechanisms. Our results suggest that these defense mechanisms are species-specific, rather than depending on range shift capacity.
|Publication status||Published - 2015|
|Event||Rhizosphere 4 - Maastricht, Netherlands|
Duration: 21 Jun 2015 → 25 Jun 2015
|Period||21/06/15 → 25/06/15|
Wilschut, R. A., Geisen, S., & van der Putten, W. H. (2015). Top-down and bottom-up control of generalist root-feeding nematodes in the rhizospheres of range-expanding plant species and native congeners. Abstract from Rhizosphere 4, Maastricht, Netherlands.