Allelopathy is a biological phenomenon in which plants release chemical poisons to destroy neighbouring plants in their bid for more space and sunlight. The poison released are deadly, they change the very genetic structure of the victim plants preventing its growth and ultimately leading to its death.
In sustainable wild management: Allelopathic applications such as Straw mulching provide sustainable weed management. It also helps in reducing negative impact of environment on agriculture. Straw mulch can improve the organic matter in the soil and increase its fertility. Allelo chemicals are called ‘Natural herbicides’.
In reduction of Nitrogen leaching and Environment pollution: Nitrogen leaching is a severe ecological problem due to water pollution. In recent years studies have proven that Nitrification Inhibiting Substance (NIS) produced by plants can reduce the emission of N2O, improve the utilization rate of nitrogen fertilizer and reduce pollution to the environment.
Plant-animal/insect interactions: Allelo chemicals may variously act as feeding attractants or repellents, have hormonal effects on the insects or provide the insects with a useful defense mechanism against predation. Many border plants are used in this manner around fields and gardens to keep undesired animals away. Studies on allelopathy in crops and weeds have been developed in the past few decades and the use of allelopathic crops in crop rotation, cover crops, green manure, inter cropping etc has become a reality.
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