Study: Invasive species kills soil fungus

Apr 25, 2006

U.S. scientists, part of an international research team, say hardwood trees are being harmed by an invasive weed spreading across the nation.

The weed harms native maples, ashes and other hardwood trees by releasing chemicals that kill a soil fungus the trees depend on for growth and survival.

The tree-stifling alien, garlic mustard -- Alliaria petiolata -- was first introduced into the eastern United States in the 1860s. It since has spread into Canada and 30 states in the East and Midwest, with recent sightings as far west as Oregon.

While many mechanisms have been proposed to explain the success of invasive species, the new study is the first to determine an invasive plant harms native plants by thwarting the biological "friends" upon which they depend for growth.

The study was conducted by researchers at Harvard University, the University of Guelph, the University of Montana, Purdue University, and the UFZ Center for Environmental Research in Germany.

The research appears in the current issue of the Public Library of Science.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Consumer loyalty driven by aesthetics over functionality

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

International team maps 'big bang' of bird evolution

Dec 11, 2014

The genomes of modern birds tell a story of how they emerged and evolved after the mass extinction that wiped out dinosaurs and almost everything else 66 million years ago. That story is now coming to light, ...

Ever tried a 'laser delicious' apple?

Dec 03, 2014

The ability to detect when to harvest "climacteric" fruits—such as apples, bananas, pears and tomatoes—at the precise moment to ensure "peak edibleness" in terms of both taste and texture may soon be ...

Gold rush an ecological disaster for Peruvian Amazon

Nov 28, 2014

A lush expanse of Amazon rainforest known as the "Mother of God" is steadily being destroyed in Peru, with the jungle giving way to mercury-filled tailing ponds used to extract the gold hidden underground.

New mushroom discovered on campus is the first since 1985

Nov 24, 2014

Two researchers who recently named the first new species of mushroom from the UC Berkeley campus in more than 30 years are emphasizing the need for continued green and open space on campus, as well as a full-fledged ...

Recommended for you

Consumer loyalty driven by aesthetics over functionality

11 hours ago

When designing a new car, manufacturers might try to attract consumers with more horsepower, increased fuel efficiency or a lower price point. But new research from San Francisco State University shows consumers' loyalty ...

Short-necked Triassic marine reptile discovered in China

13 hours ago

A new species of short-necked marine reptile from the Triassic period has been discovered in China, according to a study published December 17, 2014 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Xiao-hong Chen f ...

Study: Alcatraz inmates could have survived escape

13 hours ago

The three prisoners who escaped from Alcatraz in one of the most famous and elaborate prison breaks in U.S. history could have survived and made it to land, scientists concluded in a recent study.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.