Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

American black cherry tree overruns Europe by playing dirty

10.12.2003


The invasion of Europe by an American cherry tree is helped along by Europeans’ own dirt, according to a new study by scientists at Indiana University Bloomington and the Centre for Terrestrial Ecology in the Netherlands.



Their report, in the December issue of Ecology Letters, suggests it’s what’s in European soils -- or more specifically, what isn’t in them -- that makes it possible for the American black cherry tree to have invaded the continent.

"We’re seeing a definite positive effect of European soil on black cherry’s growth," said IU biologist Kurt Reinhart, who led the study. "Back in its native range, however, there appears to be something in the soil that prevents the tree from growing easily."


Reinhart’s study suggests that in Europe, the invasion of black cherry (Prunus serotina) may actually be helped along by local soil microbes. The study corroborates earlier research showing that American soil microbes inhibit the trees’ growth. Pythium, a fungus that causes "damping-off disease" in young trees, is one known genus of black cherry pathogens in the American Midwest.

Black cherry trees, which produce a fruit more often consumed by birds and other wildlife than by humans, have proliferated to such an extent overseas that some concerned Europeans are taking matters into their own hands.

"In parts of Europe, like the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, the tree is considered quite a pest," said IU biologist Keith Clay, a coauthor of the report. "We are told some Dutch school children are going out on field trips into the woods to pull the tree seedlings and saplings out."

The research team examined the distribution of black cherry trees in four locations -- the Indiana University Research and Teaching Preserve and Griffy Lake Nature Preserve in Bloomington, Ind., and De Ossenbos and De Leeren Doedel in The Netherlands. The scientists also conducted experiments in American and Dutch greenhouses to assess soil properties from the two countries’ study sites. In some pots, soil was sterilized with heat. Black cherry seedlings were grown for two months.

The researchers found that black cherry is sparsely distributed across Indiana forests, but the trees were found in dense clumps in Dutch forests. In the greenhouse experiments, Reinhart and his colleagues found native black cherry grew poorly in non-sterilized soil but grew comparatively well in sterilized soil. Black cherry grew more poorly in sterilized Dutch soil, however, suggesting microbes in the European soil may actually help the cherry seedlings grow.

Reinhart and his colleagues concluded there are pathogens in American soils that inhibit the growth of the trees, and without the pathogens, black cherry prospers. The fact that invader trees do well in Dutch soil, whether or not that soil is sterilized, supports a popular hypothesis that plant species do well in non-native habitats because they are able to escape pathogens, herbivores and competitors that stymie their growth.

Alissa Packer (IUB) and Wim Van der Putten (Centre for Terrestrial Ecology) also contributed to the report. It was funded by the University of Montana’s University Research Grant Program and by National Science Foundation grant DEB-0090056.

David Bricker | Indiana University
Further information:
http://newsinfo.iu.edu/news/page/normal/1202.html

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Value from wastewater
16.08.2017 | Hochschule Landshut

nachricht Species Richness – a false friend? Scientists want to improve biodiversity assessments
01.08.2017 | Carl von Ossietzky-Universität Oldenburg

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>