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Allelochemic Effects of Petalostemon Gattingeri on the Distribution of Arenaria Patula in Cedar Glades

Barbara Homan Turner and Elsie Quarterman
Ecology
Vol. 56, No. 4 (Jul., 1975), pp. 924-932
DOI: 10.2307/1936302
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1936302
Page Count: 9
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Allelochemic Effects of Petalostemon Gattingeri on the Distribution of Arenaria Patula in Cedar Glades
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Abstract

Petalosdtemon gattingeri (Heller) Heller (Leguminosae) influences the distribution pattern of Arenaria patula Michx. (Caryophyllaceae) in cedar glades of middle Tennessee by means of inhibitors present at all seasons of the year in some or all parts of the Petalostemon plant. The inhibitors are leached from living plants and from litter shed in September and October and are retained by the soil. Inhibitors were neither degraded by aerobic bacteria nor leached away. Correlation of the life cycles of the two species and intraction with seasoanl precipitation ensures that inhibitors are present at the crucial time of germination and seedling establishment of Arenaria. In deeper soils, where the cover of Petalostemon, and therefore the production of inhibitors, is greater per unit area, the silt and clay fractions are sufficient to retain inhibitors that prevent germination and growth of Arenaria. In the more shallow soils, where there are coarser particles and less cover of Petalostemon, only stunting of growth occurs. It seems clear that Petalostemon affects the local distribution of Arenaria in the feild through allelochemic action on germination of seed and growth of seedlings.

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