Prunus serotina Ehrh. is a rapidly expanding invasive in European temperate forests, threatening native species biodiversity. Three alternative models, ‘the passenger’, ‘the driver’, and ‘the opportunist’ were used to determine the interactions between the invasive species, the native community, and features of the habitat. To assess the relationships between soil properties and species composition of a Scots pine forest invaded by P. serotina, we randomly selected twelve research plots in each of four stands in the south-western part of Poland. We used the phytosociological relevé method and determined selected soil properties (total nitrogen, organic carbon, and pH value) in the organic and humus horizons. Based on redundancy analysis, we determined that selected soil properties explained 38% of the total variation in species composition of the Scots pine forest with P. serotina, indicating that community interactions followed the ‘passenger’ model. At the same time, we found that P. serotina invaded via the ‘driver’ model, since the decrease in soil C:N ratio correlated with black cherry presence, and showed a significant impact on the floristic diversity in the invaded phytocenoses. We conclude that soil parameters seem to facilitate the invasion of P. serotina, and comprise the consequences of this process.
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