EFFECT OF INVASIVE AGERATINA ADENOPHORA ON SEED GERMINATION, SEEDLING GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT OF RICE (Oryza sativa L.)
Ageratina adenophora (Crofton weed), commonly called the forest killer plant, is the worst invasive weed. This plant is known to harm other plants including native wild species and crops in the invaded range by releasing allelochemicals. In this study, the effects of fresh leaf leachate and dry leaf extract of A. adenophora have been tested on the growth and development of rice in Nepal. Fresh leaf leachate was obtained by soaking fresh leaves in water and dry leaves were soaked in water and the filtrate was used as a dry leaf extract. Seeds of rice (Khumal-11) were grown in petri dish under treatment of the fresh leaf leachate and dry leaf extract. It was found that both the fresh leaves and dried leaves of A. adenophora were toxic to seed germination and seedling growth of rice. Comparing the fresh leaf leachate, the dry leaf extract was more toxic for root shoot growth and root number of rice. These results have questioned the practice of local people who use A. adenophora as fertilizer in the rice field. However further studies and field-level trials/tests are required to confirm our findings.