Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Allelopathic effects of Canada goldenrod leaf extracts on the seed germination and seedling growth of lettuce reinforced under salt stress.

Abstract

Allelopathic effects on the seed germination and seedling growth of the natives play a crucial role in the successful invasion of numerous invaders. Meanwhile, soil salinity is an emerging driver of the spread of many invaders, especially in the colonization of saline habitats. Thus, the allelopathic effects of the invaders on the seed germination and seedling growth of the natives may be altered or even reinforced under salt stress. This study aims to address the allelopathic effects of the notorious invader Canada goldenrod (Solidago canadensis L.; goldenrod hereafter) on the seed germination and seedling growth of the native lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.; lettuce hereafter) under a gradient of salt stress. Goldenrod leaf extracts with high concentration significantly decreased root length, leaf shape index, germination percentage, germination potential, germination index, germination vigor index, and germination rate index of lettuce. However, goldenrod leaf extracts with low concentration significantly increased root length and leaf width of lettuce. Goldenrod leaf extracts with high concentration display more serious allelopathic effects on the seed germination and seedling growth of lettuce than those with low concentration. Salt stress regardless of concentration significantly decreased seedling height, root length, leaf shape index, and seedling biomass (fresh weight) of lettuce. The combined goldenrod leaf extracts and salt stress have a synergistic effect on seedling height, root length, leaf shape index, germination percentage, germination potential, germination index, and germination rate index of lettuce. Thus, the allelopathic effects of the invaders on the seed germination and seedling growth of the natives may be reinforced under salt stress. Accordingly, salt stress may be beneficial to the further invasion of the invaders mainly via the reduced growth performance of the natives.