What is Allelopathy?

613 WordsFeb 1, 20182 Pages
Introduction Allelopathy originates from the Greek language; Allele means two sided harm, and pathy means suffering (Willis, 2010). The release of chemicals by one plant that can affect the growth of another plant is called allelopathy (Ferguson, 2003). The chemicals released from a plant which possess allelopathic influences are termed allelochemicals or allelochemics (Johnson J, 2012). Different parts of a plant can secret allelochemicals. They can also be released naturally (Cipollini, 2012). They can be found in leaves, pollens, roots, fruits, or stems (Martin, 2012). According to Heisey (1996), species can be affected by these chemicals in many different ways. The toxic chemicals may inhibit shoot or root growth, they may inhibit the uptake of food, or they may disrupt a symbiotic relationship thereby destroying the plant's usable source of a nutrient. Allelopathic plants may also have beneficial effects (Cipollini, 2012). They are used as a means of survival in nature, and decrease the competition between plants nearby. According to James J (2003), chemicals found to inhibit the growth of a species at a certain concentration may stimulate the growth of the same species or another at a lower concentration. For example, many trees use allelopathy to protect their space by using their roots to pull more water from the soil so other plants cannot thrive (Willis, 2010). In other words, some use their allelochemicals to inhibit germination or to prevent development
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