Allelopathic Property of an Invasive Tree Broussonetia papyrifera (L.) LHer. ex Vent in its Introduced Range in Mount Makiling Forest Reserve, Philippines

Marilyn S. Combalicer1*, Mark Bryan A. Carayugan2, and Jonathan O. Hernandez1

1Department of Forest Biological Sciences
2Environmental Forestry, College of Forestry and Natural Resources (CFNR),
University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), College 4031 Laguna, Philippines

*Corresponding author: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




Invasive plants are responsible for many adverse ecological and economic impacts on forest ecosystems. These impacts and the emerging concern about protecting and conserving native species against invasive plants necessitate determining the invasive ability of all introduced plants in the country. In this study, the allelopathic property of stem and root of an invasive tree – Broussonetia papyrifera – was analyzed to give insights on important mechanisms underlying its invasive ability in its introduced range in Mount Makiling Forest Reserve (MMFR). Varying concentrations of aqueous extracts of stem and root of B. papyrifera were tested on a native tree, Sindora supa (test plant), to determine its effect on the morphological and physiological characteristics of the test plant. Results showed that the phytotoxicity of allelochemical(s) possibly contained within the aqueous root and stem extracts of B. papyrifera is extract-concentration-dependent. The stem and root extracts of B. papyrifera exhibited both inhibitory and stimulatory effects, which are typical of allelopathic plants. Therefore, one possible important mechanism of B. papyrifera underlying invasibility is its root and stem allelopathic property, posing a serious threat to native plants in the vicinity of MMFR. However, additional studies such as the identification of allelochemical compounds present in B. papyrifera and field trials are recommended. This is to better understand the inhibitory and stimulatory effects of B. papyrifera at the plant community level.



Invasive plant species are responsible for many adverse ecological and economic impacts on forest ecosystems. Once an introduced species enters a plant community, it has the potential to flourish in their new habitat and invade the area, posing numerous threats to native flora and fauna. The emerging concern about protecting and conserving native species against invasive plants necessitates determining the invasive ability of all introduced plants to a particular area, in line with the precautionary principle in ecology. A number of mechanisms have long been reported to elucidate invasive plant species success in an introduced area (Crawley 1987, Pisula and Meiners 2010). Some of these mechanisms include rapid changes in genetics, escape from natural enemies, morpho-anatomical and physiological mechanisms, and life history characteristics (Williamson 1996, Reichard and Hamilton 1997, Ehrenfeld et al. 2001). A couple of studies reported allelopathy as a potential mechanism underlying plant invasion process (Inderjit et al. 2008, Pisula and Meiners 2010). . . . read more



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