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Black Walnut Allelopathy: Tree Chemical Warfare

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     The biological system of a tree internally manages the economics of essential elements, water, light, and metabolites to control health and growth. Externally, a tree must adjust to the presence of other organisms and to the constraints of its site. Problems of surviving and thriving are associated with capture and control of ecologically viable space, competition for essential inputs, and chemical coadaptation to the presence of other organisms and to site attributes.
     The chemical coadaptation to other organisms and site is termed “allelopathy.” Allelopathy is the use of many different chemicals produced by many trees to interfere with the growth and development of surrounding plants and microorganisms. This interference impacts essential resource quality and quantity available on a site.

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Community and Urban Forestry
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