Allelopathy as a potential mechanism of Cassia tora L. dominance in the Sariska Tiger Reserve, India
V. P. Gupta1 and Santosh Sharma2
Allelopathic potential and dominance of the Cassia tora weed was evaluated in the forests of Sariska Tiger Reserve in Rajasthan. It is a tropical dry deciduous thorn forest located between 760 17' E to 760 34' E and 270 5' N to 270 33' N in the north - eastern part of the Rajasthan. Cassia tora, has invaded the core area and grows almost in pure stands in this forest. It adversely affects the growth and abundance of several associated herbaceous plant species in field situation. Bioassay experiments have established that leaf leachate and extract of this weed not only delayed and inhibited seed germination, but also caused reduction in radicle and plumule growth of four common herbaceous species viz.,Setaria verticillata, Corchorus aestuans, Pupalia lappacea and Chrysopogon fulvus. The extent of inhibition was often correlated with leaf leachate/extract concentration. Study suggested that Cassia tora suppresses the growth of associated herbaceous species through the release of allelochemic substances from its decomposing leaves in nature.