Deciphering field-based evidences for crop allelopathy in weed regulation. A review - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Journal Articles (Review Article) Agronomy for Sustainable Development Year : 2022

Deciphering field-based evidences for crop allelopathy in weed regulation. A review

Bruno B. Chauvel
Nathalie Colbach
Stéphane Cordeau
Aurélie Gfeller
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Antje Reiss
  • Function : Author
Delphine Moreau
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It is now essential to reduce the negative impacts of weed management and especially herbicide use. Weed-suppressive crop species/varieties hold promise for integrated and sustainable weed regulation. Competition for resources and allelopathy are the two main underlying mechanisms. Unlike competition, which is well studied and established, allelopathy by living crops remains a contentious mechanism. A major difficulty to demonstrate the effects of allelopathy in the field is to dissociate them from those of competition. Here, we systematically and quantitatively review the literature, searching for field-based evidence of the role of allelopathy (by root exudation of living crops) in weed regulation, independently of competition, focusing on studies comparing different varieties of a given crop species. Our critical literature analysis also aims to identify weaknesses and strengths in methodology, providing insights on optimal experimental designs and avenues for future research. Our main conclusions are: (1) in most articles, the role of crop competition is disregarded or not exhaustively studied. Consequently, contrary to authors' conclusions, it cannot be determined whether weed regulation is due to allelopathy and/or to competition. (2) Few articles provided convincing evidence of the presence/absence of allelopathy in the field. (3) To further investigate allelopathy in the field we recommend to (i) finely characterize crop competition by measuring traits in the field, (ii) assess crop allelopathic potential with complementary experiments in controlled conditions or by quantifying allelochemicals in the field, and (iii) quantify the contribution of each studied trait/mechanism in explaining weed regulation in the field with multiple regression models. In conclusion, the consistent use of the suggested guidelines, as well as alternative approaches (e.g., creation of varieties with deactivated allelopathic functions, development of process-based simulation models), may provide a basis for quantifying the role of allelopathy in the field and, subsequently, for designing weed management strategies promoting weed biological regulation.
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Dates and versions

hal-03716045 , version 1 (07-07-2022)





Inès Mahé, Bruno B. Chauvel, Nathalie Colbach, Stéphane Cordeau, Aurélie Gfeller, et al.. Deciphering field-based evidences for crop allelopathy in weed regulation. A review. Agronomy for Sustainable Development, 2022, 42 (3), ⟨10.1007/s13593-021-00749-1⟩. ⟨hal-03716045⟩
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