Potential allelopathic effects of Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus) leaf tissues

Franco Tesio, Leslie Weston, Francesco Vidotto, Aldo Ferrero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
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Jerusalem artichoke has been reported to colonize several ecological niches and agronomic crops in Southern Europe and specifically Italy. This plant is also of interest due to its high biomass production and its potential to produce ethanol for biofuel. Allelopathy may be an advantageous trait in Jerusalem artichoke under cultivation, as it potentially reduces weed interference with the crop,theoretically allowing a reduction of mechanical and/or chemical input required for weed management.However, this trait may also be unfavorable if other crops are cultivated in rotation with Jerusalem artichoke or in areas infested by this species. The aim of this study was to investigate the sensitivity of selected diverse crops (wheat, lettuce, corn, tomato, rice, and zucchini), and weeds (barnyard grass,black nightshade, common lambs quarters, common purslane, large crabgrass, and pigweed) to the presence of Jerusalem artichoke dried leaf tissues in laboratory experiments performed under controlled conditions.The simulated soil incorporation of different Jerusalem artichoke residues (4cultivars and a weedy population) was carried out in a series of both laboratory and greenhouse experiments. Jerusalem artichoke reduced the radicle growth of seedling lettuce (60%), tomato (30%),large crabgrass (70%), and barnyard grass (30%), whereas total germination of these species was less affected. Sensitivity to Jerusalem artichoke residues was species dependent; germination and initial growth of corn were not affected, while winter wheat, lettuce, tomato, rice and zucchini seedlings were more sensitive to residue presence. Our experiments show that both wild and cultivated decomposing Jerusalem artichoke residues, particularly leaves and stems, possess phytotoxic potential. Additional field experimentation remains to be conducted to determine if allelopathy in the field contributes to its invasibility across Italy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)378-385
Number of pages8
JournalWeed Technology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010

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