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Competitive Interactions of Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata) and Damesrocket (Hesperis matronalis)

  • Stacey A. Leicht-Young (a1), Noel B. Pavlovic (a1) and Jean V. Adams (a2)


Competitive interactions between native plants and nonnative, invasive plant species have been extensively studied; however, within degraded landscapes, the effect of interspecific interactions among invasive plants is less explored. We investigated a competitive interaction between two sympatric, invasive mustard species that have similar life history strategies and growth forms: garlic mustard and damesrocket. Greenhouse experiments using a full range of reciprocal density ratios were conducted to investigate interspecific competition. Garlic mustard had a negative effect on the final biomass, number of leaves, and relative growth rate in height of damesrocket. Survival of damesrocket was not negatively affected by interspecific competition with garlic mustard; however, garlic mustard showed higher mortality because of intraspecific competition. These results indicated that although garlic mustard has been observed to be the dominant species in this landscape, it may not completely outcompete damesrocket in all situations. Studies of invasive species in competition are important in degraded landscapes because this is the common situation in many natural areas.


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