Communities of foliar fungal pathogens and endophytes can influence the success and impacts of exotic plants. A key unresolved question concerns how these foliar fungal communities are structured, including whether they systematically differ between native and exotic plants, or are influenced by plant phylogeny and host abundance. To address these questions, we used culturing and Sanger sequencing to characterise the culturable foliar fungal communities of three native and seven exotic grass species that co-occurred in a high-country grassland in Canterbury, Aotearoa New Zealand.
In New Zealand, the European shrub gorse (Ulex europaeus) is becoming the initial post-disturbance shrub, replacing the native myrtaceous manuka (Leptospermum scoparium) and kanuka (Kunzea ericoides) scrub in this role. Change in the dominant vegetation is likely to affect the native invertebrate community.
Gravel beaches are discrete, irregularly separated habitats along New Zealand’s coasts. They are one of a diverse range of small, disparate, naturally rare ecosystems that tend to occur in extreme environments, and provide critical habitat for threatened, rare and endemic species. New Zealand’s gravel beaches are threatened by urbanisation, weeds, adjacent agriculture, introduced animals and predicted sea-level rise.