Role of Allelopathy During Invasion Process by Alien Invasive Plants in Terrestrial Ecosystems

  • Paula Lorenzo
  • M. Iftikhar Hussain
  • Luís González


Biological invasion is causing serious current biodiversity loss in different parts of the world and involves different stages: introduction, establishment, naturalization, and fast dispersion outside the normal ranks. Invasion may cause a reduction in abundance of native species or the elimination of populations of a particular species. Exotic species have to surpass different biological filters to get to be invaded in a new habitat. Importance of allelopathy in the invasion process may include the release of secondary chemical metabolites into the surrounding environment to inhibit the seedling establishment and other ecophysiological attributes of native biota. Temperature, drought, cold, association, and feedback from soil microorganism can also adversely affect the biological nutrient cycle, and other aspects that can favor the invading capacity of exotic species. Environmental problems generated by invading species can become serious in naturally protected and sensitive areas, where climatic circumstances may evolve in the shape of global warming. The purpose of this chapter is to highlight the role of allelopathy during the invasion process with special emphasis to ecophysiological relationships between exotic and native plants, and soil microorganisms.


Invasive Species Native Species Alien Species Exotic Species Soil Microorganism 



We are thankful to Xunta de Galicia for financing the Project 08MDS033310PR. We are also grateful to the Fundación Juana de Vega for a postdoctoral fellowship to Paula Lorenzo.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paula Lorenzo
    • 1
  • M. Iftikhar Hussain
    • 2
  • Luís González
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre for Functional Ecology, Department of Life Sciences, Faculty of Sciences and TechnologyUniversity of CoimbraCoimbraPortugal
  2. 2.Dept. Bioloxía Vexetal e Ciencia do SoloUniversidade de VigoVigoSpain

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