Negative impacts of Solidago canadensis on native plant and pollinator communities
Former arable land may support farmland biodiversity as the initial stages of succession take place, and over time their conservation value increases if they are left out of production. However, these old fields are prone to invasion by non-native alien plant species. In Romania large-scale abandonment of arable fields has taken place over recent decades and in many areas Solidago canadensis (EPPO List of Invasive Alien Plants), a rhizomatous member of the Asteraceae – native to North America - has colonised these fields. In the present study the authors assessed the succession of vegetation and the pollinator community in 36 fields ranging from 1-20 years post abandonment. The results of the study showed that S. canadensis reduced plant species richness and this was more prominent in older fields. The invasion of S. canadensis had a negative impact on the abundance of bees irrespective of the age of the field, and pollinator visitation rates to native flowers were reduced due to the presence of S. canadensis.
Fenesi A, Vágási CI, Beldean M, Földesi R, Kolcsár LP, Shapiro JT, Török E, Kovács-Hostyánszki A (2015) Solidago canadensis impacts on native plant and pollinator communities in different-aged old fields. Basic and Applied Ecology 16, 335-346.