Allelopathic effects of fruits of the Brazilian pepper Schinus terebinthifolius on growth, leaf production and biomass of seedlings of the red mangrove Rhizophora mangle and the black mangrove Avicennia germinans
Abbreviated Journal Title
J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol.
estuary; exotic; inhibition; invasive species; mangrove; salt marsh; INVASIVE PLANTS; GAS-EXCHANGE; FLORIDA; USA; L.; Ecology; Marine & Freshwater Biology
Exotic plant species can negatively affect native flora and fauna by changing the diversity and productivity of the system and altering successional processes. The novel weapons hypothesis has been suggested as one mechanism for invasion and spread of exotic plant species. It states that exotic species with "new weapons", such as allelopathic chemicals, may have greater impacts on species in the invaded range without co-evolved defense strategies against the exotic chemicals. In Florida, one successful exotic species, Schinus terebinthifolius (Brazilian pepper), has invaded nearly every habitat throughout the state. Past studies have documented allelopathic properties of S. terebinthifolius negatively impacting the growth of native terrestrial flora. Here we document the effect of S. terebinthifolius for the first time on mangrove systems. We examined growth and survival of Rhizophora mangle (red mangrove) and Avicennia germinans (black mangrove) seedlings when exposed to a range of densities of intact and crushed S. terebinthifolius fruits (0, 25, 50) at two different salinities (15, 30 ppt). We also documented the natural density of S. terebinthifolius fruits beneath the tree canopy after fruit production in mangrove habitat. Growth and biomass were significantly reduced in A. germinans when exposed to the highest density of intact S. terebinthifolius fruits growing in 30 ppt saltwater. Trials with intact fruits had no significant effects on R. mangle; however, crushed fruits significantly decreased growth, and leaf production. The ecological importance of the different effects of crushed and intact fruits is supported by field observations which found equal or greater numbers of crushed fruits compared to intact fruits beneath the tree canopy of female S. terebinthifolius. In addition, abiotic factors, such as salinity, may interact with allelopathic chemicals in natural systems and needs to be addressed when planning future allelopathic studies. (C) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology
"Allelopathic effects of fruits of the Brazilian pepper Schinus terebinthifolius on growth, leaf production and biomass of seedlings of the red mangrove Rhizophora mangle and the black mangrove Avicennia germinans" (2008). Faculty Bibliography 2000s. 283.