Allelopathy of Lantana camara as an invasive plant.
Lantana camara L. (Verbenaceae) is native to tropical America and has been introduced into many other countries as an ornamental and hedge plant. The species has been spreading quickly and has naturalized in more than 60 countries as an invasive noxious weed. It is considered to be one of the world's 100 worst alien species. L. camara often forms dense monospecies stands through the interruption of the regeneration process of indigenous plant species. Allelopathy of L. camara has been reported to play a crucial role in its invasiveness. The extracts, essential oil, leachates, residues, and rhizosphere soil of L. camara suppressed the germination and growth of other plant species. Several allelochemicals, such as phenolic compounds, sesquiterpenes, triterpenes, and a flavonoid, were identified in the extracts, essential oil, residues, and rhizosphere soil of L. camara. The evidence also suggests that some of those allelochemicals in L. camara are probably released into the rhizosphere soil under the canopy and neighboring environments during the decomposition process of the residues and as leachates and volatile compounds from living plant parts of L. camara. The released allelochemicals may suppress the regeneration process of indigenous plant species by decreasing their germination and seedling growth and increasing their mortality. Therefore, the allelopathic property of L. camara may support its invasive potential and formation of dense monospecies stands.