SPECIAL ISSUE: The Role of Below-Ground Processes in Mediating Plant Invasions

Photo credit: Mette Vestergard et al.
Photo credit: Mette Vestergard et al.

AoB PLANTS is pleased to announce the publication of a Special Issue entitled The Role of Below-Ground Processes in Mediating Plant Invasions (edited by Inderjit, University of Delhi, India), which examines the role of soil microbial-driven belowground processes in mediating plant invasions. Both the success of plant invasions and their impacts are profoundly influenced by a wide range of soil communities and the soil processes mediated by them. With the aim of better understanding the mechanisms responsible for the soil communities-driven routes, papers in this special issue deal with some relevant areas of soil communities and invasion in an ecological and evolutionary context. Topics include the invasional meltdown hypothesis, which predicts that one invader facilitates the invasion of another, and the converse situation, whereby an exotic invasive can suppress another exotic invasive. Articles also discuss the effect of activated carbon on plant-microbe interactions in the context of allelopathy research. Greenhouse and field experiments shed light on the mutualistic disruption hypothesis, in which allelochemicals of the invasive plant interfere with root-fungal symbiosis in the natives, resulting in physiological plant stress and demographic declines. The 10 papers published in this special issue provide some novel insights into current research on soil microbial-driven belowground processes mediating the dynamics of plant invasions and reveal areas that need attention in future studies.