Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Allelopathic effects of switchgrass on redroot pigweed and crabgrass growth.

Abstract

Non-native invasive plant species influence plant community composition and competitively eradicate native species. However, there is doubt regarding how global invasive species increase and explosively interfere with native plants. Invasive plants always have strong allelopathic potential. In this study, allelopathic effects of switchgrass on redroot pigweed and crabgrass growth were investigated by field and laboratory experiments. Within a 0.4-m distance of switchgrass, density and shoot biomass of native species were significantly suppressed in the field, with 95.1% and 93.0% inhibition on density of redroot pigweed and crabgrass and with 99.0% and 97.7% inhibition on shoot biomass, respectively, during the third growing season. Significant inhibitory effects on shoot and root biomass were observed at the 5:5 (switchgrass-native species) proportion in glass bottles, by 41.57% and 51.21% for shoot and root biomass of redroot pigweed and by 33.42% and 56.95% for shoot and root biomass of crabgrass, respectively. Results of a glass bottle experiment showed that shoot and root biomass of redroot pigweed and crabgrass could be significantly inhibited by contact with switchgrass root. Results of a Petri dish experiment showed that aqueous extracts of switchgrass significantly inhibited germination process of both species at high concentrations, with 90.74% and 18.62% inhibition on germination rate and plumule length of redroot pigweed and with 63.59%, 16.38%, and 19.92% inhibition on germination rate, plumule, and radicle lengths of crabgrass, respectively, at the concentration of 0.1 g.mL-1. This report demonstrated that switchgrass had allelopathic effects on redroot pigweed and crabgrass growth.