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Phytotoxicity and Potential Allelopathy in Pale (Cynanchum rossicum) and Black swallowwort (C. nigrum)

Douglass, Cameron H., Weston, Leslie A., Wolfe, David
Invasive plant science and management 2011 v.4 no.1 pp. 133-141
Asclepias, Digitaria sanguinalis, Vincetoxicum nigrum, Vincetoxicum rossicum, allelopathy, bioassays, germination, habitat conservation, indicator species, invasive species, leachates, lettuce, phytotoxicity, root exudates, vines, Canada
The introduced exotic vines pale and black swallowwort rapidly have become invasive throughout regions of the northeastern United States and adjoining areas of Canada. Preliminary studies have reported that the species are allelopathic, possibly contributing to their competitive ability and invasiveness. Results from our laboratory assays indicated that swallowwort root exudates caused significant root length reductions (e.g., 40% for butterfly milkweed and 20% for large crabgrass) and reduced germination (e.g., 25% for lettuce) of indicator species. Additional bioassays with dried swallowwort tissues demonstrated that tissue leachates caused varied responses in indicators, with both significant stimulatory and inhibitory effects. In particular, significant congeneric interactions were noted between the two swallowwort species. Evidence from this study of swallowwort tissue phytotoxicity has important implications for developing effective management and habitat restoration strategies for the two invasive species.