Allelopathic potential of segetal and ruderal invasive alien plants.
At the global level, the invasion of alien organisms is considered the second largest threat to biodiversity. The assumption is that the high allelopathic potential is one of the features that helps invasive plant species to spread to new areas. Allelopathic potential of 8 invasive plant species (donor species) and their impact on test-species was determined in the study. Donor species were velvetleaf (Abutilon theophrasti Med.), ragweed (Ambrosia elatior L.), jimsonweed (Datura stramonium L.), common cocklebur (Xanthium strumarium L.), tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima (Mill.) Swingle), indigo bush (Amorpha fruticosa L.), Japanese knotweed (Reynoutria japonica Houtt.) and giant goldenrod (Solidago gigantea Aiton). Three cultivated plant species from 3 different plant families were used as test-species. Test-species were: oat (Avena sativa L.), oilseed rape (Brassica napus subsp. oleifera) and sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.). Water extracts made of whole plants of donor species were applied to the seeds of the test-species. High allelopathic potential was proven for all species included in experiment. Allelopathic effects were exclusively negative. Impact on germination for all species was much lower in relation to the impact on the radicle and shoot length of the test-species. Perennial donor species had a stronger allelopathic potential than annual donor species. Tree of heaven was the species with the strongest allelopathic potential. Its extracts inhibited germination, radicle and shoot length of oilseed rape by 19%, 94.88% and 98.91% respectively.