CYPERUS KYLLINGIA AND CYPERUS BREVIFOLIUS: A POTENTIAL MODEL FOR THE STUDY OF ALLELOPATHY

in HortScience

Cyperus kyllingia and Cyperus brevifolius are problematic turfgrass weeds in Hawaii. Both are closely related weed species with similar morphology and growth characteristics. C. kyllingia appears to be a more successful weed with regards to interference than C. brevifolius. Greenhouse experiments were conducted to compare the levels of interference exerted by C. kyllingia and C. brevifolius upon Cynodon dactylon turfgrass. C. kyllingia reduced the growth of C. dactylon by about 50 %, while C. brevifolius did not significantly reduce C. dactylon growth. These results correspond with the chemical profiles of C. kyllingia and C. brevifolius. Analysis has shown that C. kyllingia contains two sesquiterpenes which have been identified as potentially allelopathic components of Cyperus rotundus. C. brevifolius contains waxes and the two sesquiterpenes found in C. kyllingia are absent. This suggests that allelopathy may be the mechanism responsible for the different levels of interference exhibited by C. kyllingia and C. brevifolius, and these species may provide an important model for the study of allelopathy.

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