Title

Allelopathy in Three Species of Neotropical Ferns in the Cloud Forest of Costa Rica

Abstract

Despite their tranquil appearances, plants are at war. They are constantly fighting with their neighbors for light, nutrients and space. One of the weapons some plants deploy are allelopathic chemicals. These chemicals interfere with the growth and development of other plants within range. These chemicals have many potential uses, including natural herbicides and pesticides. Allelopathy can also be used for conservation. For instance, revegetation projects can be impacted by using species that slow or even stop the growth of the other plants. My study focuses on three species of tropical understory ferns and looks for evidence of allelopathy by growing seeds in dirt collected from under the ferns, growing seeds watered with leachate made from the fern fronds, and analyzing the plantlet communities growing underneath the ferns in situ. In my presentation I show that all three species reveal varying degrees of allelopathy.

Faculty Sponsor

Delbert Hutchison

Tracks

Plant Wars

Terms of Use

ARMINDA Terms of Use

Location

Science 100

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Research Funding Source or OCS Program

CIEE Costa Rica

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Apr 11th, 3:45 PM Apr 11th, 4:00 PM

Allelopathy in Three Species of Neotropical Ferns in the Cloud Forest of Costa Rica

Science 100

Despite their tranquil appearances, plants are at war. They are constantly fighting with their neighbors for light, nutrients and space. One of the weapons some plants deploy are allelopathic chemicals. These chemicals interfere with the growth and development of other plants within range. These chemicals have many potential uses, including natural herbicides and pesticides. Allelopathy can also be used for conservation. For instance, revegetation projects can be impacted by using species that slow or even stop the growth of the other plants. My study focuses on three species of tropical understory ferns and looks for evidence of allelopathy by growing seeds in dirt collected from under the ferns, growing seeds watered with leachate made from the fern fronds, and analyzing the plantlet communities growing underneath the ferns in situ. In my presentation I show that all three species reveal varying degrees of allelopathy.

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