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Possible allelopathic effects of substances released from the macrophytes Chara globularis, Elodea canadensis, Myriophyllum spicatum on the common green alga Scenedesmus obliquus were tested in the laboratory with plastic plants and untreated medium as controls. A two-phase approach was used in which first the effects of physical presence of plants was studied (phase I) followed by the effects of plant culture filtrates (phase II). In the presence of plastic plants growth was reduced only marginally, but strong growth inhibition of Scenedesmus occurred in the physical presence of all macrophytes. In contrast, filtrates from Chara had no growth inhibitory effect on Scenedesmus. Myriophyllum filtrate reduced particle-based growth rate by 7% compared to filtration controls, while Elodea culture filtrate reduced volume-based growth by 12%, chlorophyll-based growth by 28% and particle-based growth by 15%. Photosystem II-efficiency of Scenedesmus was reduced in all three macrophyte treatments in phase I, but not in filtrates from macrophyte cultures (phase II). Thus, while enzyme activity or other physiological aspects may have been affected, the current study yielded no proof for allelopathically active compounds being directed at photosynthesis. Mean particle volume (MPV) of Scenedesmus was not influenced by macrophyte exudates and cultures remained dominated by unicells. The strong growth inhibitory effects found for Scenedesmus in the physical presence of macrophytes, but not in plastic controls, and no or weaker response in nutrient-enriched filtrates, suggest nutrient competition was a more powerful driving factor than allelochemicals. However, the experimental design does not exclude disappearance of allelochemicals during the filtration process. [KEYWORDS: allelopathy ; allelochemicals ; Chara ; Elodea ; growth inhibition ; Myriophyllum ; photosynthesis]
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-220
StatePublished - 2006

ID: 133719