The first thing we have to expose is the etymological origin of the term at hand. In this case, we can determine that it is the result of the sum of two words that come from the Greek such as the following:
- "Allelon", which can be translated as "one another".
- "Pathos", which is synonymous with "suffer."
The term allelopathy it is not part of the dictionary that elaborates the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE ). Its use, however, is frequent in the field of biology, where it is the phenomenon that leads an organism to generate certain biochemical compounds that have influence on the life and development of other organisms.
Although we may think that allelopathy is something recent in our society, it is not so. Specifically, experts in science and, more specifically in biology, come to indicate that in ancient times it was used. In this way, for example, they state that Pliny came to expose how the walnut's shadow exerted changes in barley or chickpea crops.
Allelopathy can result negative (when the consequences it generates are harmful to the recipient) or positive (if their effects provide advantages or benefits) according to what is caused by these biochemical compounds that are called alleles Chemicals
The links between the plants are usually regulated through allelopathy. A plant You can make a chemical inhibitor while another can generate a stimulant. There are plants, on the other hand, that produce chemical alleles that act as insect repellents. In a crop of tubers, in this way, this type of plants can be included to ward off pests. Thus, the plant with the chemical allele protects the tubers.
Knowing how allelopathy works can therefore help the preservation of crops. Due to allelopathic characteristics of each species, plants can be used to stimulate the growth of others or to serve as pesticides or herbicides. The key is to analyze the chemical properties of plants to encourage positive interactions and to minimize or eliminate possible negative links.
In addition to all of the above, we cannot ignore another series of relevant aspects regarding allelopathy. Specifically, the following should be stressed:
-To know it in depth, we must take into account the modes of release that play a fundamental role in it. We are exactly referring to leaching, volatilization, decomposition of plant residues or root exudates.
-When it is possible to analyze with complete exhaustivity an allelopathic process, it is essential to have two phases. Yes, because that procedure consists of two distinct stages: the biological-ecological phase and the chemical-analytical phase.
- Among the numerous advantages attributed to the use of allelopathy is the fact that it can help to know how even allelopathic agents can lead to function as herbicides.
It should be noted that the organic management of crops through allelopathy is considered as an ecological alternative to agrochemicals .