Martina, J. P., S. K. Hamilton, M. R. Turetsky, and C. J. Phillipo. 2014. Organic matter stocks increase with degree of invasion in temperate inland wetlands. Plant and Soil 385:107-123.
Aims: Wetlands provide a variety of ecosystem services, including nitrogen retention and carbon sequestration, and these services are linked through the storage and transformation of organic matter that can be altered by invasive plant species. We hypothesized that within inland temperate wetlands, the degree of invasion by Phragmites australis (Cav) Trin. Ex Steud, Phalaris arundinacea L. and Typha x glauca Godr. X would be positively correlated with soil and ecosystem C and N stocks because these invasive plants produce large amounts of recalcitrant litter.
Methods: We surveyed 24 inland wetlands in Michigan for plant community composition and aboveground biomass, litter, soil, and ecosystem C and N stocks.We also performed laboratory incubations to determine C and N mineralization rates from soil collected under the most dominant species.
Results: Both soil and ecosystem C stocks increased due to the presence of invasive species, as did aboveground biomass C and N stocks. Additionally, there were significant differences in C and N mineralization in soil collected from monocultures of each invasive species (Phalaris > Typha > Phragmites) linked to the quality of their litter (C/N ratios).
Conclusion: These results suggest that wetland C and N stocks are correlated with degree of invasion, and that these effects can be linked to key traits, including litter quality and aboveground biomass production.
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