Poster Title

Allelopathic Interactions Among Flora of the Ledbetter Embayment Mudflat

Institution

Murray State University

Abstract

Observations of the plants living on the Ledbetter Embayment Mudflat of Kentucky Lake have led to testing for the presence of allelopathy. Observations of Eleocharis were the inspiring factor of the study. Allelopathy is defined as the direct or indirect effect of one plant on another through the production of organic chemical compounds that escape into the environment. These organic chemicals are known as allelochemicals and can be produced through the leaves (leachates) and roots (exudates) of a plant. Allelopathic interactions have been observed using lettuce seed assays and photosynthetic rate comparisons. Statistical results indicate the presence of allelopathy in the mudflat environment. The plants tested in this study include: Eleocharis acicularia, Potamogeton diversifolius, Rotala ramosior, Sagittaria montevidensis, Justicia americana, Xanthum strumarium, and a species of the genus Carex. The purpose of this study is to determine the role and importance allelopathy plays but not the chemical nature of the allelochemicals involved. Several tests can be done using these plants to determine the importance of allelopathy in the environment, but actual field tests are difficult to conduct. Further study is planned to determine the importance of allelopathic interactions in the mudflat environment.

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Allelopathic Interactions Among Flora of the Ledbetter Embayment Mudflat

Observations of the plants living on the Ledbetter Embayment Mudflat of Kentucky Lake have led to testing for the presence of allelopathy. Observations of Eleocharis were the inspiring factor of the study. Allelopathy is defined as the direct or indirect effect of one plant on another through the production of organic chemical compounds that escape into the environment. These organic chemicals are known as allelochemicals and can be produced through the leaves (leachates) and roots (exudates) of a plant. Allelopathic interactions have been observed using lettuce seed assays and photosynthetic rate comparisons. Statistical results indicate the presence of allelopathy in the mudflat environment. The plants tested in this study include: Eleocharis acicularia, Potamogeton diversifolius, Rotala ramosior, Sagittaria montevidensis, Justicia americana, Xanthum strumarium, and a species of the genus Carex. The purpose of this study is to determine the role and importance allelopathy plays but not the chemical nature of the allelochemicals involved. Several tests can be done using these plants to determine the importance of allelopathy in the environment, but actual field tests are difficult to conduct. Further study is planned to determine the importance of allelopathic interactions in the mudflat environment.