The invasive forest plant garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) has been shown to alter soil microbial communities in the northeastern part of its invaded range in the United States, and this disruption of soil communities may contribute to its invasion success. However, garlic mustard allelochemistry can vary with invasion age, and it is not clear whether garlic mustard's impacts on soil microbes are consistent over its invaded range. Here, we compare the composition and diversity of soil fungal, bacterial, and archaeal communities among garlic mustard present, absent, and removed treatments in replicated blocks across five forests in the midwestern United States with relatively young garlic mustard invasions (approximately 17–26 years old, with consistent management). We collected samples in May and August, corresponding to garlic mustard active and senescent life history stages. While soil fungal and bacterial/archaeal communities (based on ITS2 region and 16S rRNA gene DNA sequencing, respectively) differed significantly between different blocks/forests and over time, we found no significant effect of garlic mustard treatment on soil microbial community composition or the relative abundance of mycorrhizal, saprotrophic, or pathogenic fungal guilds. The lack of garlic mustard impacts on the soil microbial community in recently invaded central Illinois forests suggests that these well-documented impacts in the northeastern United States and in older invasions cannot necessarily be generalized across all environmental contexts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere3967
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2022


  • Alliaria petiolata
  • DNA sequencing
  • fungal community
  • invasive plant
  • plant–microbe interactions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology


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