Publication Details

Ens, E., French, K. O., Bremner, J. B. & Korth, J. (2010). Novel technique shows different hydrophobic chemical signatures of exotic and indigenous plant soils with similar effects of extracts on indigenous species seedling growth. Plant and Soil: international journal on plant-soil relationships, 326 (1-2), 403-414.


Changes to ecosystem abiotic parameters are regarded as possible mechanisms facilitating plant invasion and community composition shifts. This study compared the hydrophobic chemical signatures of soil from exotic bitou bush (Chrysanthemoides monilifera spp. rotundata) invaded, indigenous acacia (Acacia longifolia var. sophorae) dominated and bare sand (unvegetated) habitats using a novel, rapid, capturing technique which utilised AmberliteA (R) XAD4 resin filled bags that were placed in situ. The hydrophobic chemical signature of the bitou bush soil extract was significantly different to the acacia soil and bare sand extracts. High concentrations of 18 sesquiterpenes dominated the hydrophobic signature of the bitou bush extract. Low concentrations of all three extracts did not significantly affect the seedling growth of three indigenous test species under laboratory conditions, however, at higher concentrations, the extracts from soil inhabited by plants, whether exotic or indigenous, similarly inhibited the seedling growth of two species, while seedling growth of the third species was inhibited by extracts from all three soil types. These results do not support the hypothesis that exotic invasive species are more likely to exhibit allelopathic effects than indigenous plant species.



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