Institute of Evolution and Ecology (EvE)

Invasion ecology of exotic knotweeds (Fallopia ssp.)


Madalin Parepa, Oliver Bossdorf, in collaboration with Markus Fischer (Switzerland), Urs Schaffner (Delémont), Ansgar Kahmen (Basel), Nina Buchmann (Zurich)

In a nutshell

Exotic plant invasions are amongst the important drivers of global change and remain disproportionally understood. In this project we study the ecology and evolution of invasive knotweeds, some of the most damaging invaders in temperate ecosystems. With a series of community experiments we explored several drivers of knotweed success: allelopathy and interactions with soil organisms, hybridisation, and the ability to profit from increased environmental variability.


Swiss National Science Foundation Project 31003A_122408


Since 2009


Parepa M, Fischer M, Krebs C, Bossdorf O (2014) Hybridisation increases invasive knotweed success, Evolutionary Applications 7(3): 413-420

Parepa M, Fischer M, Bossdorf O (2013) Environmental variability promotes plant invasion. Nature Communications 4:1604.

Parepa M, Schaffner U, Bossdorf O (2013) Help from under ground: soil biota facilitate knotweed invasion. Ecosphere 4(2): 31.

Parepa M, Schaffner U, Bossdorf O (2012) Sources and modes of action of invasive knotweed allelopathy: the effects of leaf litter and trained soil on the germination and growth of native plants. Neobiota 13: 15-30.

Murrell C, Gerber E, Krebs C, Parepa M, Schaffner U, Bossdorf O (2011) Invasive knotweed affects native plants through allelopathy. American Journal of Botany 98: 38-43.