Journal of Ecology, November 2013, Vol.101(6), pp.1623-1640
This account presents information on all aspects of the biology of Robinia pseudoacacia L. that are relevant to understanding its ecological characteristics and behaviour. The main topics are presented within the standard framework of the Biological Flora of the British Isles: distribution, habitat, communities, responses to biotic factors, responses to environment, structure and physiology, phenology, floral and seed characters, herbivores and disease, and history and conservation. Robinia pseudoacacia, false acacia or black locust, is a deciduous, broad‐leaved tree native to North America. The medium‐sized, fast‐growing tree is armed with spines, and extensively suckering. It has become naturalized in grassland, semi‐natural woodlands and urban habitats. The tree is common in the south of the British Isles and in many other regions of Europe. Robinia pseudoacacia is a light‐demanding pioneer species, which occurs primarily in disturbed sites on fertile to poor soils. The tree does not tolerate wet or compacted soils. In contrast to its native range, where it rapidly colonizes forest gaps and is replaced after 15–30 years by more competitive tree species, populations in the secondary range can persist for a longer time, probably due to release from natural enemies. Robinia pseudoacacia reproduces sexually, and asexually by underground runners. Disturbance favours clonal growth and leads to an increase in the number of ramets. Mechanical stem damage and fires also lead to increased clonal recruitment. The tree benefits from di‐nitrogen fixation associated with symbiotic rhizobia in root nodules. Estimated symbiotic nitrogen fixation rates range widely from 23 to 300 kg ha−1 year−1. The nitrogen becomes available to other plants mainly by the rapid decay of nitrogen‐rich leaves. Robinia pseudoacacia is host to a wide range of fungi both in the native and introduced ranges. Megaherbivores are of minor significance in Europe but browsing by ungulates occurs in the native range. Among insects, the North American black locust gall midge (Obolodiplosis robiniae) is specific to Robinia and is spreading rapidly throughout Europe. In parts of Europe, Robinia pseudoacacia is considered an invasive non‐indigenous plant and the tree is controlled. Negative impacts include shading and changes of soil conditions as a result of nitrogen fixation. is a orth‐merican introduction that has become a widely naturalized tree in southern ritain and warmer parts of continental urope. It spreads clonally by root suckers and produces copious seeds. Its capacity for symbiotic di‐nitrogen fixing has facilitated invasive behaviour, and further spread is likely with climate warming. Nevertheless, it provides ecosystem services, notably nectar for honey production, timber and soil stabilization.
Climatic Limitation ; Ecophysiology ; Geographical And Altitudinal Distribution ; Germination ; Invasive ; Mycorrhiza ; Nitrogen Fixation ; Parasites And Diseases ; Reproductive Biology ; Soils