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Impact of soil communities on native and exotic plants in southern California.
Subramaniam, Banu1, Bever, James2, Schultz, Peggy2, Yoshida, Lidia3, Chaudhary, Bala3, 1 2 3
ABSTRACT- Identifying "exotic" species as problems for native communities assumes that exotic species are ecologically different than native species. The generality of this assumption, however, has rarely been tested. In this experiment we studied the response of native and exotic plant species from Southern California to soil communities treatments. Each of the 14 plant species (eight exotic and six native plant species) was grown with three soil inoculation treatments: native (derived from soil dominated by natives), exotic (derived from soil dominated by exotics) and sterile. Compared to exotics, native species grew better in living than sterile soil and native soil than exotic soil. This suggests that exotic plants were ecologically different from native plants. While these differences among native and exotic species were significant when tested on the experiment-wide error, there was significant variation between species within the native/exotic categories. The differences between native and exotic species were not significant when tested over the variation between species within the exotic/native categories. The results suggest that for the species used for this experiment, exotic species were ecologically different from native species, but this difference is quantitative and not qualitative.
KEY WORDS: exotic, invasion, AM fungi, soil community