versión On-line ISSN 0717-6643
GOMEZ-GONZALEZ, Susana; CAVIERES, Lohengrin A; TORRES, Patricio y TORRES-DIAZ, Cristian. COMPETITIVE EFFECTS OF THE ALIEN INVASIVE CENTAUREA SOLSTITIALISL. ON TWO CHILEAN BACCHARIS SPECIES AT DIFFERENT LIFE-CYCLE STAGES. Gayana Bot. [online]. 2009, vol.66, n.1, pp. 71-83. ISSN 0717-6643. doi: 10.4067/S0717-66432009000100007.
Several studies have revealed a variety of mechanisms of invasion of alien plant species. However, little is known on how those mechanisms and their associated effects on native species change across different life-cycle stages. Under controlled conditions, we assessed the interactions between the alien invasive species Centaurea solstitialis L. (Asteraceae) and two pioneer native species to the Chilean matorral; Baccharis linearis (Ruiz et Pav.) Pers. and B. paniculata DC. (Asteraceae). Competitive effects of the invader on natives were evaluated by combining different life-cycle stages: seed-seed, plant-seed, and plant-plant. Seed germination of C. solstitialis was explosive and much faster than that of the native species. The presence of C. solstitialis (individuals or seeds) did not affect negatively the seed germination of the two Baccharis species. However, the presence of C. solstitialis plants significantly decreased the total biomass oí Baccharis plants. Thus, the effect of C. solstitialis on Baccharis species depended on the life-cycle stage at which the interactions occurred. In the Chilean matorral, the early emergence of C. solstitialis could be an important invasion mechanism, enabling established plants to competitively displace late emerging seedlings of Baccharis species. The huge abundance of C. solstitialis in some disturbed matorrals suggests that seedling establishment of these two pioneer species could be limited.
Palabras clave : Allelopathy; matorral; Mediterranean; seed germination; yellow starthistle.