Rising in popularity is the biofertilizer, Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi, which acts as an ally to numerous plant species by increasing the surface area for root water absorption, helping the plant acquire nutrients, and helping the plant resist pathogens. Yes, AM fungi is very successful at improving crop yields, but we came across this article the other day that highlights how little research has been done to assess the impact of this fungal species on native ecosystems. Given that invasive species have a history of negatively impacting native species, this lack of research is a cause for concern.
We found a few more articles and studies that look at the relationship between AM fungi, invasive species, and native species, but they hardly scratch the surface:
This study from 2022 found that AM fungi play an important role in invasive plant competitive success.
This chapter from Diversity and Ecology of Invasive Species highlights how invasive plants are altering the soil fungal community in ways that indirectly impact native plant species for years to come, even after the invasive species has been removed.
This study concluded that invasive species experience greater benefit from AM fungi than native species do in karst soil. It also points out that a lot of invasive plants rely on AM fungi to survive.