Nematode community responses to range-expanding and native plant communities in original and new range soils

R.A. Wilschut (Corresponding author), O. Kostenko, K. Koorem, W.H. van der Putten

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Many plant species expand their range to higher latitudes in response to climate
change. However, it is poorly understood how biotic interactions in the new range
differ from interactions in the original range. Here, in a mesocosm experiment, we
analyze nematode community responses in original and new range soils to plant
communities with either (a) species native in both the original and new range, (b)
range-expanding species related to these natives (related range expanders), or (c)
range expanders without native congeneric species in the new range (unrelated
range expanders). We hypothesized that nematode community shifts between
ranges are strongest for unrelated range expanders and minimal for plant species
that are native in both ranges. As a part of these community shifts, we hypothesized
that range expanders, but not natives, would accumulate fewer root-feeding nematodes
in their new range compared to their original range. Analyses of responses of
nematodes from both original and new ranges and comparison between range expanders
with and without close relatives have not been made before. Our study reveals
that none of the plant communities experienced evident nematode community
shifts between the original and new range. However, in soils from the new range,
root-feeding nematode communities of natives and related range expanders were
more similar than in soils from the original range, whereas the nematode community
of unrelated range expanders was distinct from the communities of natives and related
range expanders in soils from both ranges. The abundances of root-feeding
nematodes were comparable between the original and new range for all plant communities.
Unexpectedly, unrelated range expanders overall accumulated most rootfeeding
nematodes, whereas related range expanders accumulated fewest. We
conclude that nematode communities associated with native and range-expanding
plant species differ between the original and the new range, but that rangeexpanding
plant species do not accumulate fewer root-feeding nematodes in their
new than in their original range.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10288-10297
JournalEcology and Evolution
Issue number20
Early online date2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018



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