Woody invaders are more highly colonized by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi than congeneric native species

Louis J. Lamit, Amy S. Giovati, Insu Jo, Doug A. Frank, Jason D. Fridley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Premise: Invasive species tend to possess acquisitive plant traits that support fast growth and strong competitive ability. However, the relevance of symbioses with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) to the fast growing, acquisitive strategy of invasive species is still unclear. Methods: We measured AMF colonization in roots of five congeneric pairs of invasive and native eastern North American woody species (10 species total; 4 lianas, 6 shrubs) that were grown in a monoculture common garden experiment in Syracuse, NY. We then examined the relationships of AMF colonization to above and belowground traits of these species. Results: Total AMF colonization and arbuscule colonization were greater in invasive compared to native woody species, a pattern that was more distinct in congeneric shrubs than congeneric lianas. The level of AMF colonization was also positively correlated with traits indicative of rapid plant growth and nutrient uptake. Conclusions: The concordance of a resource-acquisitive strategy with higher AMF colonization suggests that symbioses with AMF may be part of the strategy by which invasive woody plants of eastern North America are able to maintain fast growth rates and outcompete their native counterparts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)655-663
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Botany
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2022


  • Celastrus
  • Frangula
  • Lonicera
  • arbuscular mycorrhiza
  • eastern North America
  • invasive species
  • liana
  • shrub

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Woody invaders are more highly colonized by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi than congeneric native species'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this