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Investigating the allelopathic potential of Kalmia latifolia L. (Ericaceae)Author(s): Holly R. Eppard; Jonathan L. Horton; Erik T. Nilsen; Pretson Galusky; Barton D. Clintton
Source: Southeastern Naturalist, Vol. 43(3): 383-392
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
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DescriptionEvergreen, understory shrubs, often members of the Ericaceae, have been implicated in the suppression of tree recruitment in Many ecosystems. One possible mechanism of this suppression could be an allelopathic interaction between shrubs and seedlings. We tested the allelopathic potential of Kalmia latifoliaL., an important component of southern Appalachian forest understories. Aqueous extracts of soil, humus, K. latifolialitter, mixed forest floor litter, and green leaves from K. latifoliadid not inhibit gerinination or initial root elongation of our test species latifolia fivu L. (lettuce). Root, shoot, and total biomass were reduced in P.rigida seedlings grown in forest floor substrate collected beneath K. latifoliacompared to those grow11 in forest substrate without K. latifolia. While these differences were not significant, they could be exacerbated in the field when seedlillgs are exposed to multiple stressors (reduced light, water, and nutrient availability). Our findings suggest that allelopathy is not a strong mechanism in the inhibition of canopy tree recruitment by K. latifolia
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CitationEppard, Holly R.; Horton, Jonathan L.; Nilsen, Erik T.; Galusky, Pretson; Clintton, Barton D. 2005. Investigating the allelopathic potential of Kalmia latifolia L. (Ericaceae). Southeastern Naturalist, Vol. 43(3): 383-392
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