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Native Expanding Merremia boisiana Is Not More Allelopathic than Its Non-Expanding Congener M. vitifolia in the Expanded Range in Hainan

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Author(s): Qiaoqiao Huang | Yide Shen | Xiaoxia Li | Zhiwei Fan | Mingguang Li | Hanting Cheng

Journal: American Journal of Plant Sciences
ISSN 2158-2742

Volume: 04;
Issue: 04;
Start page: 774;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: Allelopathy | Expansion | Invasion | Merremia boisiana | Native Expanding Species | Novel Weapons

ABSTRACT
Exotic invaders may possess novel biochemical weapons that native plants do not have, and these novel biochemical weapons may be more allelopathic than those from native plants to other native competitors. During range expansion, native species also encounter many new plant competitors. Thus, allelochemicals from native expanding species may also be more novel and allelopathic than those from non-expanding species to other plant competitors in the expanded range. We test this hypothesis using the native expanding Merremia boisiana and its non-expanding congener M. vitifolia in year 2012 inthe expanded range inHainan. In petridish bioassays, we found that aqueous extracts of M. boisiana leaves were often less inhibitory or more stimulatory to seed germination and seedling growth of five vegetable species than those of M. vitifolia leaves. In pot culture, we also found that aqueous leaf extracts of the two congeners could both inhibit the growth of a naturally co-occurring plant Paederia scanden, but their effects did not differ from each other. These results indicate that while allelopathy may contribute to the competitive ability of M. boisiana, it may not act as a novel weapon explaining its success in the expanded range in Hainan.
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