The differential impact of a native and a non-native ragwort species (Senecioneae) on the first and second trophic level of the rhizosphere food web

15 May 2017

Harkes, Paula; Verhoeven, Ava; Sterken, Mark; Snoek, Basten; Van den Elsen, Sven; Mooijman, Paul; Quist, Casper; Vervoort, Mariëtte; Helder, Hans

Whereas the impact of exotic plant species on above-ground biota is relatively well-documented, far less is known about the effects of non-indigenous plants on the first and second trophic level of the rhizosphere food web. Here, rhizosphere communities of the invasive narrow-leaved ragwort (Senecio inaequidens) and the native tansy ragwort (Jacobaea vulgaris) co-occurring in three semi-natural grasslands are compared. For both species, two life stages were taken into consideration. Quantitative PCR assays for the analyses of bacterial and fungal communities at a high taxonomic level were optimized, and it was investigated whether changes in the primary decomposer community were translated in alterations in bacterivorous and fungivorous nematode communities. Small but significant reductions were observed for Actinobacteria and Bacteroidetes (both P

Doi
10.1111/oik.04530