An allelopathic interaction of a pasture-forest intercropping system was evaluated by experiments conducted in field and by laboratory assays. A study site was situated in the farm of Hoshe Forestry Experiment Station at Nantou County, Taiwan. After deforestation of Chinese fir (Cunninghamia lanceolata), a split plot design of 4 treatments, namely litter removed, litter removed and kikuyu grass (Pennisetum clandestinum) planted, litter left, and litter left and grass planted, was composed. Field meaurements showed that the fir litter left on the ground did not significantly inhibit the growth of weeds, kikuyu grass, and fir seedlings in the first four months following deforestation, while kikuyu grass significantly suppressed the growth of weeds longer than four months but did not reduce growth of fir seedlings. The aqueous extracts of fresh fir leaves, fir litter, and kikuyu leaves were bioassayed by using lettuce and rice seeds and stolon cuttings of Brachiaria mutica. Bioassays showed that fresh fir leaves produced significant phytotoxicity while fir litter and kikuyu grass gave limited toxicity. Nine phytotoxic phenolics and many unidentified flavonoids were found in the leaf and litter of Chinese fir and kikuyu leaves. A good correlation between the degree of phytotoxicity and phytotoxins was obtained, indicating an allelopathy was involved. This finding suggests that allelopathy may contribute benefits in the intercropping system to reduce the need for herbicides and to lessen the labor cost for weed control.
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