DOI: 10.3390/agriculture13091719 ISSN:

Allelopathic Effects of Caffeic Acid and Its Derivatives on Seed Germination and Growth Competitiveness of Native Plants (Lantana indica) and Invasive Plants (Solidago canadensis)

Linxuan Pan, Feng He, Qiuju Liang, Yanwen Bo, Xin Lin, Qaiser Javed, Muhammad Saif Ullah, Jianfan Sun
  • Plant Science
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Food Science

Allelopathy has garnered considerable attention, but the effects of different allelochemicals on invasive plants remain unclear. This study addressed the knowledge gap surrounding allelopathy and its impact on native and invasive plant species. We focused on the impact of caffeic acid and its derivatives on the growth and competitiveness of the native Lantana indica and the invasive plant Solidago canadensis. We selected three allelochemicals, caffeic acid, methyl caffeic acid, and ethyl caffeic acid, for evaluation at two concentrations (0.1 mM and 1.0 mM). Three planting methods were employed: (1) a single species of S. canadensis, (2) a single species of L. indica, and (3) a combination of S. canadensis and L. indica. In addition, a control group was also included. Results revealed that high concentrations (1 mM) of methyl caffeate (MC) and ethyl caffeate (EC) significantly reduced seed germination rate, seed germination index, and seed germination speed index of L. indica compared to a low concentration (0.1 mM). Plant height, stem diameter, biomass, and root length in the control group (CK) of S. canadensis were significantly higher than those in the treated groups. However, with increasing allelochemical concentration, L. indica’s relative competitiveness gradually decreased. These findings provide insights into the concentration-dependent effects of allelopathic compounds on the growth of L. indica and S. canadensis. By analyzing how these allelochemicals influence the growth and competitiveness of native and invasive plants, the study sheds light on the dynamics of allelochemical interactions between these species. This knowledge can be pivotal for understanding plant competition dynamics in ecosystems and could inform strategies to control invasive species or promote native plant growth.

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