Mangroves in China are severely affected by the rapid invasion of the non-native species Spartina alterniflora. Although many studies have addressed the possible impacts of S. alterniflora on the performance of mangrove seedlings, how excessive nitrogen (N) input due to eutrophication affects the interactions between mangrove species and S. alterniflora remains unknown. Here, we report the results from a mesocosm experiment using seedlings of the native mangrove species Kandelia obovata and the exotic S. alterniflora grown in monoculture and mixed culture under no nitrogen addition and nitrogen (N) addition treatments for 18 months. Without N addition, the presence of S. alterniflora inhibited the growth of K. obovata seedlings. Excessive N addition significantly increased the growth rate of K. obovata in both cultures. However, the positive and significantly increasing relative interaction intensity index under excessive N input suggested that the invasion of S. alterniflora could favour the growth of K. obovata under eutrophication conditions. Our results imply that excessive N input in southeastern China can increase the competitive ability of mangrove seedlings against invasive S. alterniflora.
Electronic supplementary material is available online at https://dx.doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.3655553.
- Received September 27, 2016.
- Accepted December 9, 2016.
- © 2017 The Author(s)
Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.