CSIRO Publishing blank image blank image blank image blank imageBooksblank image blank image blank image blank imageJournalsblank image blank image blank image blank imageAbout Usblank image blank image blank image blank imageShopping Cartblank image blank image blank image You are here: Journals > Australian Journal of Botany   
Australian Journal of Botany
Journal Banner
  Southern hemisphere botanical ecosystems
blank image Search
blank image blank image
blank image
  Advanced Search

Journal Home
About the Journal
Editorial Structure
Online Early
Current Issue
Just Accepted
All Issues
Special Issues
Turner Review Series
Sample Issue
For Authors
General Information
Submit Article
Author Instructions
Open Access
Awards and Prizes
For Referees
Referee Guidelines
Review an Article
Annual Referee Index
For Subscribers
Subscription Prices
Customer Service
Print Publication Dates
Library Recommendation

blue arrow e-Alerts
blank image
Subscribe to our Email Alert or RSS feeds for the latest journal papers.

red arrow Connect with us
blank image
facebook twitter logo LinkedIn

red arrow PrometheusWiki
blank image
Protocols in ecological and environmental plant physiology


Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 62(3)

Acacia holosericea (Fabaceae) litter has allelopathic and physical effects on mission grass (Cenchrus pedicellatus and C. polystachios) (Poaceae) seedling establishment

Muhammad S. Quddus A B, Sean M. Bellairs A and Penelope A. S. Wurm A

A Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, NT 0909, Australia.
B Corresponding author. Email: Muhammad.Quddus@cdu.edu.au

Australian Journal of Botany 62(3) 189-195 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/BT13294
Submitted: 6 December 2013  Accepted: 24 April 2014   Published: 24 June 2014

PDF (317 KB) $25
 Export Citation

Invasion of grass weeds is a major threat for ecosystems. Mission grass (Cenchrus pedicellatus and C. polystachios) vigorously competes with native vegetation and has become a serious problem in northern Australian savanna. A lower density of mission grass has been observed under the canopy of stands of native Acacia holosericea. We used a series of laboratory and shade house experiments to assess the potential for allelopathy and the role of litter on germination, emergence and seedling growth of these two species of mission grass. Different concentrations of aqueous leaf extract of A. holosericea were used to assess allelopathic effects on germination. Various depths and types of litter were used to investigate the allelopathic and physical effects of litter on emergence and growth of mission grass seedlings in the shade house. Results indicate that extracts did not affect germination of either species of mission grass but root growth of seedlings was affected. Emergence of seedlings in the shade house was affected by physical litter treatments but not by allelopathy. After emergence no negative effects on seedling growth were detected. Overall we found that there was no allelopathic effect on germination and that the negative effect on emergence was due to the physical properties of the litter. This effect on emergence increased with increasing depth of litter. Allelopathy slightly inhibited root growth but once seedlings emerged, litter tended to facilitate growth. This has implications for the ecological management of mission grass on disturbed lands, using strategies such as manipulation of litter cover through Acacia establishment.

Additional keywords: allelopathy, emergence, germination, grass weed, suppression.


Al-Humaid AI, Warrag MOA (1998) Allelopathic effects of mesquite (Prosopis juliflora) foliage on seed germination and seedling growth of bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon). Journal of Arid Environments 38, 237–243.
CrossRef |

Aldrich RJ (1984) ‘Weed-crop ecology: principles in weed management.’ (Breton Publishers: Scituate, MA)

Baker AC, Murray BR (2010) Relationships between leaf-litter traits and the emergence and early growth of invasive Pinus radiata seedlings. Weed Research 50, 586–596.
CrossRef |

Bargali K, Bargali S (2009) Acacia nilotica: a multipurpose leguminous plant. Nature and Science 7, 11–19.

Barritt AR, Facelli JM (2001) Effects of Casuarina pauper litter and grove soil on emergence and growth of understorey species in arid lands of South Australia. Journal of Arid Environments 49, 569–579.
CrossRef |

Bhadoria PBS (2011) Allelopathy: a natural way towards weed management. American Journal of Experimental Agriculture 1, 7–20.

Bowman D, Kirkpatrick J (1986) Establishment, suppression and growth of Eucalyptus delegatensis R.T. Baker in multiaged forests. III. Intraspecific allelopathy, competition between adult and juvenile for moisture and nutrients, and frost damage to seedlings. Australian Journal of Botany 34, 81–94.
CrossRef |

Brooks KJ, Setterfield SA, Douglas MM (2010) Exotic grass invasions: applying a conceptual framework to the dynamics of degradation and restoration in Australia’s tropical savannas. Restoration Ecology 18, 188–197.
CrossRef |

Cavieres LA, Chacon P, Penaloza A, Molina-Montenegro M, Arroyo MTK (2007) Leaf litter of Kageneckia angustifolia D. Don (Rosaceae) inhibits seed germination in sclerophyllous montane woodlands of central Chile. Plant Ecology 190, 13–22.
CrossRef |

Cheplick GP, Quinn JA (1987) The role of seed depth, litter, and fire in the seedling establishment of amphicarpic peanutgrass (Amphicarpum purshii). Oecologia 73, 459–464.
CrossRef |

Chon SU (2010) Allelopathy in Compositae plants. A review. Agronomy for Sustainable Development 30, 349–358.
CrossRef | CAS |

Chon SU, Choi S-K, Jung S, Jang H-G, Pyo B-S, Kim S-M (2002) Effects of alfalfa leaf extracts and phenolic allelochemicals on early seedling growth and root morphology of alfalfa and barnyard grass. Crop Protection 21, 1077–1082.
CrossRef | CAS |

Chou C-H, Fu C-Y, Li S-Y, Wang Y-F (1998) Allelopathic potential of Acacia confusa and related species in Taiwan. Journal of Chemical Ecology 24, 2131–2150.
CrossRef | CAS |

Cintra R (1997) Leaf litter effects on seed and seedling predation of the palm Astrocaryum murumuru and the legume tree Dipteryx micrantha in Amazonian forest. Journal of Tropical Ecology 13, 709–725.
CrossRef |

Douglas MM, Setterfield SA, O’Connor RA, Ferdinands K, Rossiter NA, Brooks KJ, Ryan B, Parr C (2006) Different weeds, different habitats, same effects: exotic grass invasion in tropical woodlands and wetlands. In ‘15th Australian weeds conference managing weeds in a changing climate, 24–28 September 2006, Adelaide’. (Eds C Preston, JH Watts, ND Crossman) pp. 811–814 (Weed Management Society of South Australia: Adelaide)

El-Khawas SA, Shehata MM (2005) The allelopathic potentialities of Acacia nilotica and Eucalyptus rostrata on monocot (Zea mays L.) and dicot (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) plants. Biotechnology 4, 23–34.
CrossRef | CAS |

Facelli JM, Brenton L (1996) Germination requirements and responses to leaf litter of four species of eucalypt. Oecologia 107, 441–445.
CrossRef |

Facelli JM, Pickett STA (1991a) Indirect effects of litter on woody seedlings subject to herb competition. Oikos 62, 129–138.
CrossRef |

Facelli JM, Pickett STA (1991b) Plant litter: its dynamics and effects on plant community structure. Botanical Review 57, 1–32.
CrossRef |

Facelli JM, Pickett STA (1991c) Plant litter: light interception and effects on an old-field plant community. Ecology 72, 1024–1031.
CrossRef |

González L, Souto XC, Reigosa MJ (1995) Allelopathic effects of Acacia melanoxylon R.Br. phyllodes during their decomposition. Forest Ecology and Management 77, 53–63.
CrossRef |

Hamrick JL, Lee JM (1987) Effect of soil surface topography and litter cover on the germination, survival, and growth of musk thistle (Carduus nutans). American Journal of Botany 74, 451–457.
CrossRef |

Harris MR, Lamb D, Erskine PD (2003) An investigation into the possible inhibitory effects of white cypress pine (Callitris glaucophylla) litter on the germination and growth of associated ground cover species. Australian Journal of Botany 51, 93–102.
CrossRef |

Heisey RM (1990) Allelopathic and herbicidal effects of extracts from tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima). American Journal of Botany 77, 662–670.
CrossRef |

Hobbs RJ, Atkins L (1991) Interactions between annuals and woody perennials in a Western Australian nature reserve. Journal of Vegetation Science 2, 643–654.
CrossRef |

Hoque ATMR, Ahmed R, Uddin M, Hossain M (2003) Allelopathic effect of different concentration of water extracts of Acacia auriculiformis leaf on some initial growth parameters of five common agricultural crops. Pakistan Journal of Agronomy 2, 92–100.
CrossRef |

Inderjit (2001) Soil: environmental effects on allelochemical activity. Agronomy Journal 93, 79–84.

Inderjit , Dakshini KMM (1995) On laboratory bioassays in allelopathy. Botanical Review 61, 28–44.

Inderjit, Moral R (1997) Is separating resource competition from allelopathy realistic? Botanical Review 63, 221–230.
CrossRef |

Inderjit , Nilsen ET (2003) Bioassays and field studies for allelopathy in terrestrial plants: progress and problems. Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences 22, 221–238.

Kelsey R, Locken L (1987) Phytotoxic properties of cnicin, a sesquiterpene lactone from Centaurea maculosa (spotted knapweed). Journal of Chemical Ecology 13, 19–33.
CrossRef | CAS | PubMed |

Kruse M, Strandberg M, Strandberg B (2000) ‘Ecological effects of allelopathic plants – a review technical report No. 315.’ (National Environmental Research Institute: Silkeborg, Denmark)

Landon J (Ed.) (1991) ‘Booker tropical soil manual: a handbook for soil survey and agricultural land evaluation in the tropics and subtropics.’ (Addison Wesley Longman: Harlow, UK)

Lorenzo P, Palomera-Perez A, Reigosa MJ, González L (2011) Allelopathic interference of invasive Acacia dealbata Link on the physiological parameters of native understory species. Plant Ecology 212, 403–412.
CrossRef |

Lovett JV (Ed.) (1986) ‘Allelopathy: the Australian experience. The science of allelopathy.’ (John Wiley & Sons: New York)

Lovett J, Ryuntyu M (1992) Allelopathy: broading the context. In ‘Allelopathy: basic and applied aspects’. (Eds SJH Rizvi, V Rizvi) pp. 11–19. (Chapman & Hall: London)

Loydi A, Eckstein RL, Otte A, Donath TW (2013) Effects of litter on seedling establishment in natural and semi-natural grasslands: a meta-analysis. Journal of Ecology 101, 454–464.
CrossRef |

Macías FA, Molinillo JMG, Varela RM, Galindo JCG (2007) Allelopathy – a natural alternative for weed control. Pest Management Science 63, 327–348.
CrossRef | PubMed |

May F, Ash J (1990) An assessment of the allelopathic potential of Eucalyptus. Australian Journal of Botany 38, 245–254.
CrossRef |

Miller I (2006) ‘Management of mission grass (Pennisetum polystachion).’ (Biosecurity and Product Integrity, Department of Primary Industry, Fisheries and Mines, Northern Territory Government: Darwin)

Molofsky J, Augspurger CK (1992) The effect of leaf litter on early seedling establishment in a tropical forest. Ecology 73, 68–77.
CrossRef |

Mousavi S, Alami-Saeid K, Moshatati A (2013) Effect of leaf, stem and root extract of alfalfa (Melilotus indicus) on seed germination and seedling growth of wheat (Triticum aestivum). International Journal of Agriculture and Crop Sciences 5, 44–49.

Olson BE, Wallander RT (2002) Effects of invasive forb litter on seed germination, seedling growth and survival. Basic and Applied Ecology 3, 309–317.
CrossRef |

Oyun M (2006) Allelopathic potentialities of Gliricidia sepium and Acacia auriculiformis on the germination and seedling vigour of maize (Zea mays L.). American Journal of Agricultural and Biological Sciences 1, 44–47.
CrossRef |

Padhy B, Patnaik PK, Tripathy AK (2000) Allelopathic potential of Eucalyptus leaf litter leachates on germination and seedling growth of fingermillet. Allelopathy Journal 7, 69–78.

Putnam AR, Duke WB (1978) Allelopathy in agroecosystems. Annual Review of Phytopathology 16, 431–451.
CrossRef |

Putnam AR, Tang C-S (1986) ‘The science of allelopathy.’ (John Wiley & Sons: New York)

Rejila S, Vijayakumar N (2011) Allelopathic effect of Jatropha curcas on selected intercropping plants (green chilli and sesame). Journal of Phytology 3, 1–3.

Rice EL (1979) Allelopathy: an update. Botanical Review 45, 15–109.
CrossRef | CAS |

Rice EL (1984) ‘Allelopathy.’ (Academic Press: London)

Romeo J (2000) Raising the beam: moving beyond phytotoxicity. Journal of Chemical Ecology 26, 2011–2014.
CrossRef | CAS |

Rotundo JL, Aguiar MR (2005) Litter effects on plant regeneration in arid lands: a complex balance between seed retention, seed longevity and soil–seed contact. Journal of Ecology 93, 829–838.
CrossRef |

Ruprecht E, Jozsa J, Olvedi TB, Simon J (2010) Differential effects of several ‘litter’ types on the germination of dry grassland species. Journal of Vegetation Science 21, 1069–1081.
CrossRef |

Sarkar E, Chatterjee SN, Chakraborty P (2012) Allelopathic effect of Cassia tora on seed germination and growth of mustard. Turkish Journal of Botany 36, 488–494.

Souto X, González L, Reigosa M (1994) Comparative analysis of allelopathic effects produced by four forestry species during decomposition process in their soils in Galicia (NW Spain). Journal of Chemical Ecology 20, 3005–3015.
CrossRef | CAS | PubMed |

Warrag MOA (1995) Autotoxic potential of foliage on seed germination and early growth of mesquite (Prosopis juliflora). Journal of Arid Environments 31, 415–421.
CrossRef |

Xiong S, Nilsson C (1999) The effects of plant litter on vegetation: a meta-analysis. Journal of Ecology 87, 984–994.
CrossRef |

Zimdahl RL (2007) ‘Fundamentals of weed science.’ (Academic Press: San Diego, CA)

Subscriber Login

Legal & Privacy | Contact Us | Help


© CSIRO 1996-2016