, Volume 282, Issue 1-2, pp 327-332

Autotoxicity Against Germination and Seedling Emergence in Cistus ladanifer L

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Autotoxic species are those which adversely affect their own seeds’ germination and/or seedling development. Cistus ladanifer L (labdanum or jara) has been shown to have a pattern of allelopathic behaviour against the herbs that share its habitat. The present work studied whether an autotoxic effect also exists. The aqueous solution obtained from washing jara leaves was found by itself to inhibit germination and cotyledon emergence of the species’ seeds. When these same trials were carried out in soils, autotoxicity was observed only from leaves and soils collected in winter. This was so both in soils collected away from the influence of the jaral to which was added the greatest concentration of aqueous extract prepared from the leaves, and in soils collected within the jaral, except that in the latter group of soils germination was inhibited with or without the addition of C. ladanifer extracts. This autotoxic behaviour could be involved in the species’ own population control, and would explain the scant self-regeneration within established C. ladanifer stands.