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Use of exotic plants to control Spartina alterniflora invasion and promote mangrove restoration.


ABSTRACT: In coastal China, the exotic invasive Spartina alterniflora is preventing the establishment of native mangroves. The use of exotic species, control of exotic plant invasion, and restoration of native plant communities are timely research issues. We used exotic Sonneratia apetala Buch.-Ham and S. caseolaris (L.) Engl. to control invasive Spartina alterniflora Loisel through replacement control for five years, which concurrently promoted the restoration of native mangroves. This process includes three stages. I: In a mangrove area invaded by S. alterniflora, exotic S. apetala and S. caseolaris grew rapidly due to their relatively fast-growing character and an allelopathic effect. II: Fast-growing S. apetala and S. caseolaris eradicate S. alterniflora through shading and allelopathy. III: The growth of native mangrove was promoted because exotic plant seedlings cannot regenerate in the understory shade, whereas native mesophytic mangrove plants seedlings can grow; when the area experiences extreme low temperatures in winter or at other times, S. apetala dies, and native mangrove species grow to restore the communities. This model has important implications for addressing the worldwide problems of "how to implement the ecological control of invasion using exotic species" and "how to concurrently promote native community restoration during the control of exotic invasion".

SUBMITTER: Zhou T 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC4542654 | BioStudies | 2015-01-01

SECONDARY ACCESSION(S): 10.1038/srep12980

REPOSITORIES: biostudies