Leaf and root allelopathic potential of the Vernonanthura brasiliana.
The Brazilian native weed assa-peixe (Vernonanthura brasiliana) is considered one of the main invasive plant species of pasture areas in the Amazon. It is thus necessary to know their biology and their behavior in the environment, and to enhance the development of management strategies, minimizing the use of herbicides. The objective of this study was to test the allelopathic effect on the germination and growth of the bioindicator species Lactuca sativa from leaf and root extracts obtained from fresh and dry V. brasiliana. The experiment consisted of six treatments with concentrations of 0, 12.5, 25, 50, 100, and 200 mg mL-1, using four replicates per treatment. The evaluated parameters were: germination percentage, first count, germination speed index, and shoot and root length. The aqueous extract of fresh V. brasiliana roots caused an allelopathic effect on all evaluated parameters, while the dry root extract only affected the germination speed index. Root growth inhibition and growth stimulation of lettuce seedlings were verified when submitted to dry and fresh root extracts. Extracts of V. brasiliana caused an allelopathic effect on the species Lactuca sativa L., where the aqueous extracts of dry leaves and fresh roots were the most influential.