Ecological Considerations Plant Phenolics and Allelopathy

Allelopathy refers to a negative or positive effect on one type of plant, by a chemical produced by another type of plant. Various types of chemicals, including phenolics, hydroxamic acids, and short-chain fatty acids, have been identified as having allelopathic properties. Allelopathy is thought to be involved with plant species succession, and occurs both in agricultural and natural landscapes. Juglone, produced by walnuts, is an example of a well-studied phenolic having allelopathic properties (Figure 3).

Figure 3 (a) Salicylic acid, a phenolic involved in plant signaling; (b) juglone, an allelopathic phenolic produced by walnut.

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