1 Effects of mechanical management of Rhamnus cathartica on fungal communities
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Fungi provide valuable services to ecosystems; however little is known about the effects exotic invasive plants have on fungal communities. The objective of this study was to examine the effects of mechanical treatments of Rhamnus cathartica (commonly known as buckthorn) on fungal communities. The study was completed at two invaded sites in southeastern Wisconsin during June and July of 2006. Three blocks were studied per site, blocks consisted of: two mechanical management (cut back and cut plus girdle) and an unaltered control. Fungal communities were studied by analysis of sporocarp diversity, hyphal extractions and root arbuscular mycorrhizal abundance. Results indicated in all cases treated plots varied from control therefore fungal communities were affected by the mechanical management of Rhamnus cathartica. In the case of Rhamnus cathartica, its symbiosis with arbuscular mycorrhizae may increase ability to invade. Fungal community changes induced by exotic invasives may also affect ecosystem function.
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