One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The chemical inhibition of one plant (or other organism) by another, due to the release into the environment of substances acting as germination or growth inhibitors.
- ‘It can provide a potent mixture of allelopathy and shade for the soil, inhibiting weed seed germination.’
- ‘He speculated that competition for light or water or allelopathy might be factors limiting the growth of seedlings within native populations.’
- ‘It's unlikely that allelopathy will totally replace herbicides in weed control.’
- ‘The effect on seedling germination is a well-known phenomenon in allelopathy.’
- ‘Secreted secondary compounds are positioned to be leached to the soil, in some cases for the purpose of contributing to allelopathy.’
1950s: from Greek allēl- ‘one another’ + -pathy.
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