Agroforestry Systems

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 63-74

First online:

Allelopathy in agroforestry systems: the effects of leaf extracts ofCupressus lusitanica and threeEucalyptus spp. on four Ethiopian crops

  • N. LisaneworkAffiliated withBiology Department, Addis Ababa University
  • , A. MichelsenAffiliated withInstitute of Plant Ecology, University of Copenhagen

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The potential allelopathic effect ofCupressus lusitanica, Eucalyptus globulus, E. camaldulensis andE. saligna on seed germination, radicle and seedling growth was investigated with four crops:Cicer arietinum (chickpea),Zea mays (maize),Pisum sativum (pea) andEragrostis tef (teff). Aqueous leaf extracts of all the tree species significantly reduced both germination and radicle growth of the majority of the crops mostly starting from concentrations of 1% or 2.5%. The shoot and root dry weight increase of the crops was significantly reduced after 10 weeks treatment with leaf extracts. Among the four crops, chickpea and teff were most susceptible with respect to germination, and teff with respect to growth. From the overall data the leaf extracts of the four tree species can be arranged according to increasing allelopathic potential:C. lusitanica, E. globulus, E. saligna andE. camaldulensis. It is suggested that the planting ofE. camaldulensis andE. saligna in integrated land use systems should be minimized, whereas the use ofC. lusitanica andE. globulus seems less environmentally damaging in this respect.

Key words

Cicer arietinum Eragrostis tef Pisum sativum tropical tree plantations Zea mays