Rapid impact of Impatiens glandulifera control on above- and belowground invertebrate communities

Suzy Wood, Norbert Maczey, Amanda Currie, Alyssa Lowry, Mojgan Rabiey, Carol Ellison, Robert Jackson, Alan Gange

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Abstract

The annual plant Impatiens glandulifera (Himalayan balsam) is the most widespread invasive non‐native weed in the British Isles. Manual control is widely used, but is costly and laborious. Recently, biological control using the rust fungus Puccinia komarovii var. glanduliferae has been trialled. We designed an experiment to assess the impact of these control methods on invertebrate communities in relation to unmanaged and uninvaded habitats, and to determine whether mycorrhizal inoculation aided post‐control recovery of these communities. Sixty invaded and twenty uninvaded field soil blocks were transplanted to the experiment site, where a mycorrhizal inoculum was added to half of all blocks. Biological and mechanical control treatments were applied to twenty invaded blocks independently; the twenty remaining invaded blocks were left intact. Above‐ and belowground invertebrate samples were collected from the blocks at the end of the growing season. Overall, aboveground invertebrate abundance increased with the removal of I. glandulifera, and several groups showed signs of recovery within one growing season. The effect of mechanical control was more variable in belowground invertebrates. Biological control did not affect aboveground invertebrate abundance but resulted in large increases in populations of belowground Collembola. Our experiment demonstrates that mechanical removal of I. glandulifera can cause rapid increases in invertebrate abundance and that its biological control with P. komarovii var. glanduliferae also has the potential to benefit native invertebrate communities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-44
Number of pages10
JournalWeed Research
Volume61
Issue number1
Early online date9 Nov 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors are grateful to the Natural Environment Research Council (grant NE/N00244X/1) for funding this research and to the rangers and landowners at Harmondsworth Moor for allowing access to the site for this study. We would also like that thank the Scottish Government, Environment Agency and the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) for supporting and funding the original classical biological control programme for I.?glandulifera and to the many additional organisations that are currently contributing to the programme. With special thanks to Declan Perry, Molly Cordall, Freddie Southey and Rik Peters for their assistance in the belowground invertebrate sample sorting. Thanks also to Nikolai Thom, Corin Pratt, Harri Hudson and Janet Hannon for field and technical support. CABI is an international intergovernmental organisation, and we gratefully acknowledge the core financial support from our Member Countries (and lead agencies) including the United Kingdom (Department for International Development), China (Chinese Ministry of Agriculture), Australia (Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research), Canada (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada), Netherlands (Directorate-General for International Cooperation), and Switzerland (Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation). See https://www.cabi.org/about-cabi/who-we-work-with/key-donors/ for full details.

Funding Information:
The authors are grateful to the Natural Environment Research Council (grant NE/N00244X/1) for funding this research and to the rangers and landowners at Harmondsworth Moor for allowing access to the site for this study. We would also like that thank the Scottish Government, Environment Agency and the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) for supporting and funding the original classical biological control programme for and to the many additional organisations that are currently contributing to the programme. I. glandulifera

Funding Information:
CABI is an international intergovernmental organisation, and we gratefully acknowledge the core financial support from our Member Countries (and lead agencies) including the United Kingdom (Department for International Development), China (Chinese Ministry of Agriculture), Australia (Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research), Canada (Agriculture and Agri‐Food Canada), Netherlands (Directorate‐General for International Cooperation), and Switzerland (Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation). See https://www.cabi.org/about‐cabi/who‐we‐work‐with/key‐donors/ for full details.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Authors. Weed Research published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of European Weed Research Society

Keywords

  • Himalayan balsam
  • biological control
  • invasive species
  • mechanical control
  • native invertebrates
  • non-native plant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science

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