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Threat of Ageratina adenophora to Nepalese Alder forest
Sangita Pachhai

Last modified: 2017-08-14

Abstract


Threat of Ageratina adenophora to Nepalese Alder forest

Sangita Pachhai and Lal B Thapa*

*Correspondence: lal_thapa25@yahoo.com

Abstract

Alnus nepalensis (Nepalese Alder) is a native tree in Nepal which is very common, deciduous and fast growing subtropical species. This tree accelerates ecological restoration of the degraded habitat and considered useful for land reclamation. Nitrogen fixing ability in the root nodules by symbiotic relationship with Frankia is one of the important characteristics of this tree. A serious issue is that the native forests dominated by Nepalese alder have become severely invaded by a worst alien species Ageratina adenophora since decades. Various mechanisms of A. adenophora invasion have been proposed previously such as its phytotoxic ability to inhibit native species, soil pathogen accumulation and altering soil quality in an ecosystem. We have proposed an interesting mechanism of A. adenophora invasion in Alder forest that is A. adenophora interferes A. nepalensis root nodulation and symbiotic association with soil Frankia. Water extracts from A. adenophora fresh leaves were found phytotoxic to the growth and development of A. nepalensis seedlings and inhibited the number of root nodules.  Overall, affecting plant bacteria symbiotic relationship could be a possible reason behind invasion success of A. adenophora in Nepalese Alder forests. Hence, implementation of appropriate control measures for this alien species is essential to protect Alder forests from being severe invasion in future.

Keywords: Crofton weed, native species, invasion, plant-bacteria symbiosis

 

 


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