Can novel weapons favor native plants? Allelopathic interactions between Morella cerifeva (L.) and Schinus terebinthifolia Raddi.
Potential allelopathic effects of wax myrtle, Morella cerifera (L.), to Brazilian peppertree, Schinus terebinthifolia Raddi, were investigated in laboratory and held studies. Aqueous leaf extracts of wax myrtle suppressed germination and reduced seedling growth and survival of Brazilian peppertree. Similarly, root washings of wax myrtle negatively affected germination, growth and biomass accumulation of Brazilian peppertree. In field plots planted with equal densities of wax myrtle and Brazilian peppertree saplings, no differences in final densities, growth or vigor between the two species were detected after 14 months, suggesting that neither species was competitively superior to the other. Based on the results of this study, wax myrtle may have value as one tool in an integrated approach to management of Brazilian peppertree, but additional research is required to demonstrate allelopathic effects in the field.