The Role of Habitat Types and Soil Physicochemical Properties in the Spread of a Non Native Shrub Lantana Camara in the Doon Valley, Western Himalaya, India

Gautam Mandal 1  and Shambhu Prasad Joshi 1
  • 1 Ecology Research Laboratory, Department of Botany, DAV (PG) College, HNB Garhwal Central University,


Invasive alien species colonize very aggressively and forcefully, menacing native biodiversity. The success of invasive alien plants is due to their opportunistic exploitation of anthropogenic disturbances, the absence of natural enemies, free from herbivory and frequently their allelopathic competition. Invasive species can have a significant impact on development, affecting sustainability of livelihood, food security and essential ecosystem services and dynamics. Lantana camara is a documented weed of worldwide significance; it is indigestible due to its toxic chemicals and highly competitive. In this study physicochemical properties of soil were analysed from different high and low Lantana infested areas. Significant site effect was frequently observed than effect due to invasion status. The present study tested the impact of soil properties in the measured and calculated attributes of Lantana by randomly sampling soil from the highly invaded and less invaded sites in different habitats using the Modified Whittaker plot design. Results indicated that edaphic factors such as soil pH, total nitrogen, soil organic carbon, phosphorus and potassium content positively influenced the growth of Lantana and helped in its own further invasion process. These factors were also positively influencing the measured and calculated attributes of Lantana such as canopy coverage, average crown diameter, shrub canopy area, phytovolume and biomass from all sites. However some attributes like shrub height and stem diameter were negatively influenced by these soil factors. The present results show that Lantana invasion can significantly improve the soil nutrient level but also positively increasing the chances of its further invasion with more copious plant attributes.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Agrawal, A. A., Kotanen, P. M., Mitchell, C.E., Power, A. G., Godsoe, W., Klironomos, J. 2005. Enemy release? An experiment with congeneric plant pairs and diverse above - and below ground enemies. Ecology 86, 2979-2989. DOI: 10.1890/05-0219

  • Bhagwat, S.A., Breman, E., Thekaekara, T., Thornton, T.F., Willis, K.J. 2012. A Battle Lost? Report on Two Centuries of Invasion and Management of Lantana camara L. in Australia, India and South Africa. PLoS ONE 7(3), e32407. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0032407

  • Bone, R., Lawrence M., Magombo, Z. 1997. The effect of a Eucalyptus camaldulensis (Dehn) plantation on native woodland recovery on Ulumba Mountain, southern Malawi. Forest ecology and management 99, 83-99. DOI: 10.1016/S0378-1127(97)00196-5

  • Bray, S.R., Kitajima, K., Sylvia, D.M. 2003. Micorrhizae differentially alter growth, physiology and competitive ability of an invasive shrub. Ecological Application 13, 565-574. DOI: 10.1890/1051-0761(2003)013[0565:MDAGPA]2.0.CO;2

  • Brooks, M.L., D'Antonio, C.M., Richardson, D.M., Grace, J.B., Keeleu, J.E., DiTomaso, J.M., Hobbs, R.J., Pellant, M., Pyke, D. 2004. Effects of Invasive Alien Plants on Fire Regimes. Bio Science 54, 677-688. DOI: 10.1641/0006-3568(2004)054[0677:eoiapo];2

  • Chatanga, P. 2007. Impact of alien invasive species Lantana camara L. on native vegetation in northern Gonarezhu National Park, Zim babwe. MSc Thesis, Department of Biological sciences, University of Zimbabwe. pp. 22

  • Cheal, D., Coman, B., Robley, A. 2006. Pest plants and animals. In: Attiwell, P., Wilson, B. (ed.) Ecology: An Australian Perspective, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne. pp. 416-432.

  • Clegg, S. 1999. Effects of perennial water on soil vegetation and wild herbivore distribution in Southern - eastern Zimbabwe. M.Sc. Thesis submitted to University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg, 80-115.

  • Cronk, Q.B., Fuller, J.L. 1995. Plant invaders. Chapman and Hall, London. pp. 241

  • D’Antonio, C.M., Mahall, B.E. 1991. Root profiles and competition between the invasive, exotic perennial, Carpobrotusedulis, and two native shrub species in California coastal scrub. American Journal of Botany 78, 885-894. DOI: 10.2307/2445167

  • D'Antonio, C.M., Vitousek, P.M. 1992. Biological invasions by exotic grasses, the grass/fire cycle, and global change. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 23, 63-87. DOI: 10.1146/

  • Davis, M.A., Grime, J.P., Thompson, K. 2000. Fluctuating resources in plant communities: a general theory of invasibility. Journal of Ecology 88, 528-34. DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-2745.2000.00473.x

  • Day, M., Wiley, C.J., Playford, J., Zalucki, M.P. 2003. Lantana: Current management status and future prospects. ACIAR Monograph 102, 1-125.

  • Drenovsky, R.E., Batten, K.M. 2007. Invasion by Aegilops triuncialis (barb goat grass) slows carbon and nutrient cycling in serpentine grassland. Biological Invasion 9, 107-116. DOI: 10.1007/s10530-006-0007-4

  • Duda, J.J., Freeman, D.C., Emlen, J.M., Belnap, J., Kitchen, S.G., Zak, J.C., Sobek, E., Tracy, M., Montante, J. 2003. Differences in native soil ecology associated with invasion of the exotic annual chenopod, Halogeton glomeratus. Biology and Fertility of Soils 38, 72-77. DOI: 10.1007/s00374-003-0638-x

  • Ehrenfeld, J.G. 2003. Effect of exotic plant invasions on soil nutrient cycling processes. Ecosystems 6, 503-523. DOI: 10.1007/s10021-002-0151-3

  • Evans, R.D., Rimer, R., Sperry, L., Belnap, J. 2001. Exotic plant invasion alters nitrogen dynamics in arid grassland. Ecological Application 11, 1301-1310. DOI: 10.1890/1051-0761(2001)011[1301:epiand];2

  • Ferreira, R.L., Marques, M.M. 1998. Litter fauna of arthropods of areas with monoculture of Eucalyptus and heterogeneous secondary forest. Anais da SociedadeEntomológica do Brasil 27, 395-403.

  • Fetcher, N., Strain, B.R., Oberbauer, S.F. 1983. Effects of light regime on the growth, leaf morphology, and water relations of seedlings of two species of tropical trees. Oecologia 58, 314 - 319. DOI: 10.1007/bf00385229

  • Fickbohm, S.S., Zhu, W.X. 2006. Exotic purple loosestrife invasion of native cat tail freshwater wetlands: effects on organic matter distribution and soil nitrogen cycling. Applied Soil Ecology 32, 123-131. DOI: 10.1016/j.apsoil.2004.12.011

  • Gentle, C.B., Duggin, J.A. 1997a. Lantana camara L. invasion in dry rainforest ecotones: the role of disturbance associated with fire and cattle grazing. Australian Journal of Ecology 22(3), 296-304. DOI: 10.1111/j.1442-9993.1997.tb00675.x

  • Gordon, R.D. 1998. Effects of invasive, non-indigenous plant species on ecosystem processes.Lessons from Florida. Ecological Application 8(4), 975-989. DOI: 10.1890/1051-0761(1998)008[0975:eoinip];2

  • Guangwei, C. 2002. Biodiversity in the Eastern Himalayas: Conservation through dialogue. Summary reports of the workshops on Biodiversity Conservation in the Hindu Kush-Himalayan Ecoregion. ICIMOD, Kathmandu, Nepal.

  • Haubensak, K.A., D’Antonio, C.M., Alexander, J. 2004. Effects of nitrogen fixing shrubs in Washington and coastal California. Weed Technology 18, 1475-1479. DOI: 10.1614/0890-037x(2004)018[1475:eonsiw];2

  • Hawkes, C.V., Wren, I.F., Herman, D.J. 2005. Firestone MK; Plant invasion alters nitrogen cycling by modifying the soil nitrifying community. Ecology Letters 8, 976-985. DOI: 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2005.00802.x

  • Heneghan, L., Fatemi, F., Umek, L., Grady K., Fagen, K., Workman, M. 2006. The invasive shrub European buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica L.) alters soil properties in Midwestern US woodlands. Applied Soil Ecology 32, 142-148. DOI: 10.1016/j.apsoil.2005.03.009

  • Hill, S.J., Peter, J.T., Leishman, M.R. 2005. Relationships between anthropogenic disturbance, soil properties and plant invasion in endangered Cumberland Plain Woodland, Australia. Austral Ecology 30, 775-788. DOI: 10.1111/j.1442-9993.2005.01518.x

  • Hiremath, A.J., Sundaram, B. 2005. The fire Lantana camara cycle hypothesis in Indian forests.Conservation and Society 3(1), 26-42. DOI: 10.1007/s10530-011-0144-2

  • Hobbs, R.J., Mooney, H.A. 1991. Effects of rainfall variability and gopher disturbance on serpentine annual grassland dynamics in N. California. Ecology 72, 59-68. DOI: 10.2307/1938902

  • Hulme, P.E. 2009. Trade, transport and travel: managing invasive species pathways in an era of globalization. Journal of Applied Ecology 46, 10-18. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2008.01600.x India State Forest Report.2013. State Forest Report of 2013, Forest Survey of India, Ministry of Environment and Forests Government of India, Dehra Dun, India.

  • Jones, R.H., Sharitz, R.R., Dixon, P.M., Segal, D.S., Schneider, R.L. 1994. Woody plant regeneration in four floodplain forests. Ecological Monograph 64, 345-367. DOI: 10.2307/2937166

  • Khuroo, A.A., Reshi, Z.A., Malik, A.H., Weber, E., Rashid, I., Dar, G.H. 2012. Alien flora of India: taxonomic composition, invasion status and biogeographic affiliations. Biological Invasions 14, 99-113.

  • King, S.A., Buckney, R.T.G. 2002. Invasion of exotic plants in nutirent-enriched urban bushland. Austral Ecology 27,573-583. DOI: 10.1046/j.1442-9993.2002.01220.x

  • Kohli, R.K., Batish, D.R., Singh, H.P., Dogra, K. 2006. Status, invasiveness and environmental threats of three tropical American invasive weeds (Parthenium hysterophorus L., Ageratum conyzoides L. and Lantana camara L.). Biological Invasions 8, 1501-1510. DOI: 10.1007/s10530-005-5842-1

  • Kourtev, P., Ehrenfeld, J., Häggblom, M. 2002. Exotic plant species alter the microbial community structure and function in the soil. Ecology 83, 3152-3166. DOI: 10.1890/0012-9658(2002)083[3152:epsatm];2

  • Kourtev, P., Ehrenfeld, J., Häggblom, M. 2003. Experimental analysis of the effect of exotic and native plant species on the structure and function of soil microbial communities. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 35, 895-905. DOI: 10.1016/s0038-0717(03)00120-2

  • Lake, J.C., Leishman, M.R. 2004. Invasion success of exotic plants in natural ecosystems: the role of disturbance, plant attributes and freedom from herbivores. Biological Conservation 117, 215-226. DOI: 10.1016/s0006-3207(03)00294-5

  • Le Maitre, D.C., Van Wilgen, B.W., Chapman, R.A., McKelly, D.H. 1996. Invasive plants and water resources in the Western Cape Province, South Africa: modelling the consequences of a lack of management. Journal of Applied Ecology 33, 161-172.

  • Leishman, M.R., Thomson, V.P. 2005. Experimental evidence for the effects of added water, nutrients and physical disturbance on invasive plants in low fertility Hawkesbury Sandstone soils, Sydney, Australia. Journal of Ecology 93, 38-49. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2745.2004.00938.x

  • Leishman, M.R., Hughes, M.T., Gore, D.B. 2004. Soil phosphorus enhancement below storm water outlets in urban bushland: spatial and temporal changes and the relationship with invasive plants. Australian Journal of Soil Research 42, 197-202. DOI: 10.1071/sr03035

  • Mandal, G., Joshi, S.P. 2014. Biomass calculation and carbon sequestration potential of Shorea robusta and Lantana camara from the dry deciduous forests of Doon Valley, western Himalaya, India. International Journal of Environmental Biology 4(2), 157-169. DOI: 10.1016/j.japb.2014.07.006

  • Myers, N., Mittermeier, R.A., Mittermeier, C.G., Da Fonseca, G.A.B., Kent, J. 2000. Biodiversity hotspots for conservation priorities. Nature 403(24), 853-858. DOI: 10.1038/35002501

  • Ogle, S.M., Ojima, D., Reiners, W.A. 2004. Modelling the impact of exotic annual Brome grasses on soil organic carbon storage in a northern mixed grass prairie. Biological Invasion 6, 365- 377. DOI: 10.1023/b:binv.0000034629.68660.28

  • Okalebo, R.J., Gathua, W.K., Woomer, L.P. 2002. Laboratory manual of soil and plant analysis: A working Manual, second Edition, Nairobi, Kenya: Soil Science Society East Africa Publication. pp. 58-60.

  • Olson, D.M., Dinerstein, E. 2002. The Global 200; Priority ecoregions for global conservation.Annals of Missouri Botanical Garden 89, 199-224. DOI: 10.2307/3298564

  • Olson, D.M., Dinerstein, E., Wikramanayke, E.D., et al. 2001. Terrestrial ecoregions of the world: A new map of life on earth. Bio Science 51(11), 993-1038. DOI: 10.1641/0006-3568(2001)051[0933:teotwa];2

  • Piper, C.S. 1944. Soil and Plant Analysis. Interscience Publication, New York.

  • Ridenour, W.M., Callaway, R.M. 2001. The relative importance of allelopathy in interference: the effects of an invasive weed on a native bunchgrass. Oecologia 126, 444-450. DOI: 10.1007/s004420000533

  • Ross, I.A. 1999. Medicinal plants of the world. Chemical constituents, traditional and modern medical uses. Humana Press, New Jersey, USA.

  • Saggar, S., McIntosh, P., Hedley, C., Knicker, H. 1999. Changes in soil microbial biomass, metabolic quotient and organic matter turnover under Hieracium pilosella L. Biology and Fertility of Soils 30, 232-238. DOI: 10.1007/s003740050613

  • Scholes, R.J. 1990a. The influence of soil fertility on the ecology of Southern African Dry Savannas.Journal of Biogeography 17, 415-419. DOI: 10.2307/2845371

  • Scholes, R.J., Walker, B.H. 1993. An African Savanna: Synthesis of the Nysvley Study. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. pp. 33 - 77

  • Schwartz, M.W., Porter, D.J., Randall, J.M., Lyons, K.E. 1996. Impact of non indigenous plants. Sierra Nevada Ecosystem Project: Final Report to Congress. Volume 2. Assessments and scientific basis for management options. Centers for Water and Wild and Resources, University of California, Davis, California, USA, pp. 1203-1218.

  • Sharma, G.P., Raghubanshi, A.S. 2011. Lantana camara L. invasion and impact on herb layer diversity and soil properties in a dry deciduous forest of India. Applied Ecology and Environmental Research 9(3), 253-264. DOI: 10.15666/aeer/0903_253264

  • Sharma, G.P, Raghubanshi, A.S. 2006. Tree population structure, regeneration and expected future composition at different levels of Lantana camara L. invasion in the Vindhyan tropical dry deciduous forest of India. Lyonia 11(1), 25-37.

  • Sharma, G.P., Raghubanshi, A.S. 2007. Effect of Lantana camara L. cover on plant species depletion in the Vindhyan tropical dry deciduous forest of India.Applied Ecology and Environmental Research 5(1), 109-121. DPO_ 10.15666/aeer/0501_109121

  • Shinwari, Z.K., Qaisar, M. 2011. Efforts on conservation and sustainable use of medicinal plants of Pakistan.Pakistan Journal of Botany 43(Special Issue), 5-10.

  • Shinwari, Z.K., Gilani, S.A., Khan, A.L. 2012. Biodiversity loss, emerging infectious diseases and impact on human and crops. Pakistan Journal of Botany 44(Special Issue), 137-142.

  • Turton, S.M., Duff, G.A. 1992. Light environments and floristic composition across an open forest-rainforest boundary in north eastern Queensland. Australian Journal of Ecology 17, 415-423. DOI: 10.1111/j.1442-9993.1992.tb00824.x

  • Van Wilgen, B.W., Richardson, D.M. 1985. The effects of alien shrub invasion on vegetation structure and fire behaviour in South African fynbos shrubland: A simulation study. Journal of Applied Ecology 22, 455-466. DOI: 10.2307/2403243

  • Vitousek, P.M., Walker, L.R. 1989. Biological invasion by Myricafaya in Hawaii: Plant demography, nitrogen fixation, ecosystem effects. Ecological Monographs 59, 247-265. DOI: 10.2307/1942601

  • Vitousek, P.M., D'Antonio, C.M., Loope, L.L., Rejmanek, M., Westbrooks, R. 1997.Introduced species: a significant component of human caused global change. New Zealand Journal of Ecology 21, 1-16.

  • Vranjic, J.A., Woods, M.J., Barnard, J. 2000. Soil mediated effects on germination and seedling growth of coastal Wattle (Acacia sophorae) by the environmental weed bitou bush (Chrysanthemoides monilifera subsp. rotundata). Austral Ecology 25, 445-453. DOI: 10.1046/j.1442-9993.2000.01086.x

  • Walkley, A.J., Black, I.A. 1934. Estimation of soil organic carbon by the chromic acid titration method. Soil Science 37, 29-38

  • Walters, M.B., Reich, P.B. 1996. Are shade tolerance survival and growth linked? Low light and nitrogen effects on hardwood seedlings. Ecology 77, 841-853. DOI: 10.2307/2265505

  • White, R.E. 1997. Principles and Practices of Soil Sciences: The Soil as a Natural Resourece. Blackwell Science, Oxford, 44-88

  • Yelenik, S.G., Stock, W.D., Richardson, D.M. 2004. Ecosystem level impacts of invasive Acacia saligna in the South African fynbos. Restoration Ecology 12, 44-51. DOI: 10.1111/j.1061-2971.2004.00289.x

  • Yurkonis, K.A., Meiners, S.J., Wachholder, B.E. 2005. Invasion impacts diversity through altered community dynamics. Journal of Ecology 93, 1053-1061. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2745.2005.01029.x


Journal + Issues