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Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 20, Issue 12, pp 3163–3172 | Cite as

Seasonal variation in phytotoxicity of bracken (Pteridium aquilinum L. Kuhn)

  • Ann Dolling
  • Olle Zackrisson
  • Marie-Charlotte Nilsson
Article

Abstract

Laboratory bioassays were used to test for the phytotoxicity of volatile compounds, fresh plant material as a seed bed, and water extracts from bracken [Pteridium aquilinum (L.) Kuhn] pinnules to germination and seedling growth of aspen (Populus tremula L.) and Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.). Fronds were sampled from two bracken populations, one in the south and one in the north of Sweden. All three bioassays showed inhibitory effects, and these varied seasonally with the most inhibitory effects occurring in May, June, and September. The peak of inhibition in May and June coincides with the start of the growing season when bracken still is immature and vulnerable to interference from other species. The increase in inhibitory effects in September appears to be due to transformation of natural products or an accumulation of inhibitory compounds that are released during decomposition following frond death. Addition of activated carbon did not remove the inhibitory effects.

Key Words

Pteridium aquilinum allelopathy phytotoxicity volatile compounds water extracts regeneration failure activated carbon Pinus sylvestris Populus tremula 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ann Dolling
    • 1
  • Olle Zackrisson
    • 1
  • Marie-Charlotte Nilsson
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Forestry, Department of Forest Vegetation EcologySwedish University of Agricultural SciencesUmeåSweden

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