ZhiCong Dai
Associate Professor ZhiCong Dai
Visiting Fellow
Field of Research: 
Plant Ecology, Microbial Ecology, Invasion Ecology
Contact details:

Level 5 East
Biological Sciences North (D26)
UNSW, Kensington 2052


My research has two foci, one basic and one applied. The focus of my basic research is on how the life forms and functions of microorganism to affect the growth & health and competitive abilities of higher plants (especially alien invasive plants) under global change context. For example, I am exploring the effects of root-associated bacteria on the competitive abilities of invasive plants Wedelia trilobata and Solidago canadensis. The focus of my applied research is on the development and application of new microorganism and plant sources for environmental remediation, agriculture and horticulture. For example, I am exploring the new plant sources in the remediation of heavy metal pollution, and the new microorganism sources in the bio-control of agricultural pathogens.



(1) China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (special funding project)-Contribution of interaction with rhizosphere microbial communities to the successful invasion of exotic plants, Grant no. 2017T100329 (Host)

(2) National Natural Science Foundation of China (2017-2019)-Diversity of root-associated bacteria and its effects and mechanisms on the successful invasion of alien plant, Grant no.31600326 (Host)

(3) Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu (2015-2018)-The mechanism of root-associated bacteria on invasion of Solidago canadensis, Grant no.BK20150504 (Host)

(4) China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (2016-2018)- Grant no. 2016M590416 (Host)

(5) Jiangsu University Research Foundation for Advanced Talents (2014-2018), Grant no. 14JDG010 (Host)


See also:





Bin ­Zhu*, Cora C. Ottaviani, Rahmat­ Naddafi, Zhicong­ Dai, Daolin ­Du. (2018) Invasive European frogbit (Hydrocharis morsus-ranae L.) in North America: an updated review 2003–16. Journal of Plant Ecology, 11(1): 17-25.

Ling-Yun Wan, Shan-Shan Qi, Chris B. Zou, Zhi-Cong Dai, Bin Zhu, Yi-Ge Song, Dao-Lin Du. (2018) Phosphorus addition reduces the competitive ability of the invasive weed Solidago canadensis under high nitrogen conditions. FLORA, 240:68-75

Lin-Yun Wan, Shan-Shan Qi, Zhi-Cong Dai, Chris B. Zou, Yi-Ge Song, Zhi-Yuan Hu, Bin Zhu, Dao-Lin Du*. (2018) Growth responses of Canada goldenrod (Solidago canadensis L.) to increased nitrogen supply correlate with bioavailability of insoluble phosphorus source. Ecological Research, 33(1):261-269

Jian Li, Zhiwei Du, Chris B. Zou, Zhicong Dai, Daolin Du*, Chongling Yan*. (2018) The mutual restraint e ff ect between the expansion of Alternanthera philoxeroides (Mart.) Griseb and cadmium mobility in aquatic environment. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 148: 237–243

Lin-Yun Wan, Shan-Shan Qi, Zhi-Cong Dai, et al. (2017) Clonal Integration is Beneficial for Resource Sharing in a Creeping Amphibian Herb (Alternanthera philoxeroides). Folia Geobotanica, 52(3-4): 423-432.

Hai-Yan Zhang, Shan-Shan Qi*, Zhi-Cong Dai, Zhang Min, Sun Jian-Fan, Du Dao-Lin*.  (2017) Allelopathic potential of flavonoids identified from invasive plant Conyza canadensis on Agrostis stolonifera and Lactuca sativa. Allelopathy Journal, 41 (2): 223-238.

Sun JF, Liao YL, Zhang WW, Zhang H, Wang XY, Chen JH, Huang P, Dai ZC, Du DL*. (2017) Allelopathic effects of Solidago canadensis L. between the leaf litter and green leaf. Allelopathy Journal, 41(2):189-200.

Fu Wei, Huang Kai, Cai Hong-Hong, Li Jian, Zhai De-Li, Dai Zhi-Cong*, Du Dao-Lin. (2017) Exploring the Potential of Naturalized Plants for Phytoremediation of Heavy Metal Contamination. International Journal of Environment Research 11(4):515-521.

Dai Zhi-Cong, Si Chun-Can, Zhai De-Li, Huang Ping, Wang Rui-Ping, Zhong Qiong-Xin, Du Dao-Lin*. (2018) Genetic effects of historical anthropogenic disturbance on a long-lived endangered tropical tree Vatica mangachapoi. Journal of Forestry Research, 29(2):291-299.

Jujie Jia, Zhicong Dai, Feng Li, Yanjie Liu*. (2016) How Will Global Environmental Changes Affect the Growth of Alien Plants? Frontiers in Plant Science 7: 1623.

Dai Zhi-Cong, Fu Wei, Wan Ling-Yun, Cai Hong-Hong, Wang Ning, Qi Shan-Shan*, Du Dao-Lin*. (2016) Different growth promoting effects of endophytic bacteria on invasive and native clonal plants. Frontiers in Plant Science 7:706.

Dai Zhi-Cong, Wang Xiao-Ying, Qi Shan-Shan*, Cai Hong-Hong, Sun Jian-Fan, Huang Ping, Du Dao-Lin*. (2016) Effects of leaf litter on inter-specific competitive ability of the invasive plant Wedelia trilobata, Ecological Research, 31(3): 367-374.

Dai Zhi-Cong, Fu Wei, Qi Shan-Shan, Zhai De-Li, Chen Si-Chong, Wan Ling-Yun, Huang Ping, Du Dao-Lin*. (2016) Different responses of an invasive clonal plant Wedelia trilobata and its native congener to Gibberellin: Implications for biological invasion, Journal of Chemical Ecology, 42, 85–94. (Cover Paper)

Dai Zhi-Cong, Qi Shan-Shan, Miao Shi-Li, Liu Yong-Tao, Tian Yuan-Fei, Zhai De-Li, Huang Ping, Du Dao-Lin (2015) Isolation of NBS-LRR RGAs from invasive Wedelia trilobata and the calculation of evolutionary rates to understand bioinvasion from a molecular evolution perspective, Biochemical Systematics and Ecology, 61: 19-27.

Dai Zhi-Cong, Chun-Can Si, De-Li Zhai, Ping Huang, Shan-Shan Qi, Qiong-Xin Zhong, Xu Hu, Hua-Ming Li and Dao-Lin Du. (2013) Human impacts on genetic diversity and differentiation in six natural populations of Madhuca hainanensis, an endemic and endangered timber species in China. Biochemical Systematics and Ecology, 50:212-219.

Qi Shan-Shan1, Dai Zhi-Cong1, Miao Shi-Li, Zhai De-Li, Si Chun-Can, Huang Ping, Wang Rui-Ping, Du Dao-Lin (2014) Light limitation and litter of an invasive clonal plant, Wedelia trilobata, inhibit its seedling recruitment. Annals of Botany114: 425-433.

Qi Shan-Shan1, Dai Zhi-Cong1, Zhai De-Li, Chen Si-Chong, Si Chun-Can, Huang Ping, Wang Rui-Ping, Zhong Qiong-Xin, Du Dao-Lin (2014) Curvilinear effects of invasive plants on plant diversity: plant community invaded by Sphagneticola trilobata. PloS ONE9(11): e113964.

Si Chun-Can, Dai Zhi-Cong, Lin Ying, Qi Shan-Shan, Huang Ping, Miao Shi-Li, Du Dao-Lin. (2014) Local adaptation and phenotypic plasticity both occurred in Wedelia trilobata invasion across a tropical island. Biological Invasions, 16: 2323–2337.

Zhai De-Li*, Cannon CH, Dai Zhi-Cong, Zhang Cui-Ping, Xu Jian-Chu (2014) Deforestation and fragmentation of natural forests in the upper Changhua watershed, Hainan, China: implications for biodiversity conservation. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 187(1): 4137.

Si Chun-Can, Liu Xue-Yan, Wang Cong-Yan, Wang Lei, Dai Zhi-Cong, Qi Shan-Shan, Du Dao-Lin (2013) Different degrees of plant invasion significantly affect the richness of the soil fungal community. PLoS ONE, 8(12): e85490.

Zhai De-Li, Xu Jian-Chu, Dai Zhi-Cong, Charles H. Cannon,R. E.Grumbine (2014) Increasing tree cover while losing diverse natural forests in tropical Hainan, China. Regional Environmental Change, 09:1-11.

De-Li Zhai, Cannon CH, Slik JWF, Cui-Ping Zhang, Zhi-Cong Dai (2012) Rubber and pulp plantations represent a double threat to Hainan's natural tropical forests. Journal of Environmental Management