Biodiv Sci ›› 2017, Vol. 25 ›› Issue (12): 1295-1302.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017071

Special Issue: 土壤生物与土壤健康

• Special Feature: Biological Invasion • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Soil microbiota and plant invasions: current and future

Wei Fu1, Ning Wang1, Fang Pang1, Yulong Huang1, Jun Wu1, Shanshan Qi1, Zhicong Dai1,2,*(), Daolin Du1,2   

  1. 1 Institute of Environment and Ecology, School of the Environment and Safety Engineering, Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang, Jiangsu 212013
    2 Institute of Agricultural Engineering, Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang, Jiangsu 212013
  • Received:2017-03-06 Accepted:2017-12-20 Online:2017-12-20 Published:2017-12-10
  • Contact: Dai Zhicong


Profound threats on global biodiversity caused by the expansion and accumulation of invasive species substantiate the urgent need to understand their invasion mechanisms. While most studies of invasive plants have focused on macro-organisms, it has become increasingly clear that microorganisms are pervasive and play central roles in successful invasion processes of exotic plants. According to studies examining soil microbes and invasive plants, we discuss the effects of invasive plants on soil microbial communities by dividing them into three separate groups, namely microbial pathogens, mutualistic microbes, and saprotrophic microbes. Roots are the primary site for interactions with microbes, and the rhizosphere is the largest reservoir of known microbial diversity. The rhizosphere provided a heterogeneity microhabitat at the root-soil interface (rhizosphere soil, rhizoplane, and endorhizosphere) and shapes the habitat into different functions. However, previous studies have tended to focus on either the single dimension or at the hole level, which fails to explain the scope and depth of the phenomenon. When examining this issue, we propose that future studies of the interactions between rhizosphere microbes and invasive plant should combine the root elaborate microhabitat and macro-functional traits. It is essential to construct a systematic and reproducible research framework by using high-throughput DNA sequencing technology and corresponding bioinformatic tools, to switch the mode of research from the description and prediction of the phenomenon into the elaboration of the mechanism in the field of plant invasion.

Key words: invasive plant, invasion mechanisms, soil microbes, rhizosphere microhabitat, microbial molecular ecology