Faculty Publications

Soils Suppressing and Promoting Non-Native Plant Invasions

Document Type

Book Chapter

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Interactions in Soil: Promoting Plant Growth

First Page


Last Page



Non-native invasive plants are an increasing concern and are found on every continent on the globe, including Antarctica. While non-native invasives sometimes provide benefits to humans or wildlife, they often impair ecosystem services, crowding out native plant species, pre-empting scarce water and nutrients, and creating novel plant communities that can disrupt animal herbivore and pollinator communities. Many of these impacts have economic consequences for humans as well. Therefore, understanding and predicting invasions and their impacts has become a major challenge for ecologists. This chapter reviews ways in which soils influence the establishment and spread of non-native invasive plants. I focus first on the abiotic and biotic attributes, and their interactions, that influence the initial stage of invasion, which is heuristically defined as the stage before the non-native invasive has been present long enough or in densities high enough to substantially alter soil properties. Then I describe ways in which non-native invasive plants alter these soil properties and discuss potential feedback effects on invasion rate that result from these invasion-induced changes. I also suggest some areas where further research could be useful to improve our understanding of when and how soils suppress or promote non-native invasive plants.


Department of Biology

Original Publication Date


DOI of published version