We compared the rhizosphere community of an exotic plant species, narrow-leaved ragwort (Senecio inaequidens), with the community surrounding the roots of a native relative, tansy ragwort (Jacobeae vulgaris). In this study, the primary decomposer community (bacteria and fungi), as well as the nematode grazing on these groups (bacterivorous and fungivorous nematodes), are taken into consideration. To our surprise the effect of plant developmental stage was shown to be stronger than the native versus exotic plant species effect. This was not only true for the bacterial and fungal community, but also for the 15 most prominent nematode taxa present in these habitats.
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