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 International network connects experimental research in European waters
21.03.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)

nachricht World Water Day 2017: It doesn’t Always Have to Be Drinking Water – Using Wastewater as a Resource
17.03.2017 | ISOE - Institut für sozial-ökologische Forschung

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: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>