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Abstract Detail


Yost, Jenn [1], Nelson, Kristen [1].

Is allelopathy ecologically relevant? A review and case study in Eucalyptus globulus.

Allelopathy is the chemical inhibition of one plant on another. It is often evoked as the mechanism to explain patterns attributed to plant interactions. However, even for the most allelopathic species you can think of, the evidence supporting it is likely scant. Here we review the ecological relevance of allelopathy as a phenomenon operating between plants in nature. Most studies showing allelopathy do not use ecologically meaningful controls nor do not test compounds against appropriate species. We show that for Eucalyptus globulus in California plantations, the lack of understory cannot be attributed to allelopathy. We tested the effect of blue gum soil, volatile leaf extracts, and water-soluble leaf extracts on germination and early seedling growth of five California native speciesthat are common components of the native habitats typically found adjacent to blue gum plantations. We conducted greenhouse and laboratory experiments to compare the effect of blue gum extracts to ecologically-relevant controls including water, a non-allelopathic native plant control (Quercus agrifolia[Fagaceae]), and a native allelopathic plant control (Salvia apiana[Lamiaceae]). In these experiments, we found that germination and seedling growth of the species tested were not inhibited by chemical extracts of blue gum foliage, either at naturally-occurring or artificially concentrated levels. These results are significant because they are the first to test an allelopathic effect of blue gums against ecologically-relevant species. These results may have significant implications for management and restoration of land historically occupied by blue gum plantations.

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1 - California Polytechnic State University, Biological Sciences, 1 Grand Ave, San Luis Obispo, CA, 93407, USA


Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: 7, Ecology Section - Community Interactions and Responses
Location: 106/Mayo Civic Center
Date: Monday, July 23rd, 2018
Time: 11:15 AM
Number: 7011
Abstract ID:959
Candidate for Awards:None

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