Skip to main content

Eucalyptus globulus Leaves Incorporated as Green Manure for Weed Control in Maize

  • Carolina G. Puig (a1), Lorena Álvarez-Iglesias (a1), Manuel J. Reigosa (a1) and Nuria Pedrol (a1)

The use of eucalyptus leaves for weed control in maize-based cropping systems is proposed. Aqueous extracts of eucalyptus are known to exert phytotoxicity on many weeds and crops, but there is also experimental evidence of the relative tolerance of maize. Based on in vitro dose-response bioassays of leaf aqueous extracts, we conducted greenhouse pot experiments testing incorporated eucalyptus leaves as green manure. The phytotoxic effects were tested on the germination, establishment and growth of maize and some representative accompanying weeds, in comparison to the PRE herbicide metolachlor. Eucalyptus fresh leaves incorporated into the soil as green manure at 1 and 2% w/w reduced the emergence of the dicot weed species redroot pigweed and black nightshade. After one month of incorporation, both doses reduced aerial biomass >94% two monocot weed species (barnyardgrass + large crabgrass) with respect to the eucalyptus-free pots, and around 80% for the small seeded dicots. Although the aerial biomass of maize was reduced by 33%, the final relative yield of maize biomass with respect to the untreated control increased by 37%. On the assessment of the temporal phytotoxic effects, the reduction of aerial biomass in maize could be overcome by adopting a relay-planting of maize after 12 to 15 days from eucalyptus incorporation. Our results constitute evidence that the incorporation of E. globulus residues to soil could be a feasible practice to reduce the reliance on synthetic herbicides in maize-based cropping systems.

Corresponding author
Corresponding author's E-mail:
Hide All
An M., Johnson I. R., and Lovett J. V. 2002. Mathematical modeling of residue allelopathy: the effects of intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Plant Soil. 246:1122.
An M., Pratley J. E., and Haig T. 1997. Phytotoxicity of vulpia residues: I. Investigation of aqueous extracts. J. Chem. Ecol. 23:19791995.
Babu R. C. and Kandasamy O. S. 1997. Allelopathic effect of Eucalyptus globulus Labill. on Cyperus rotundus L. and Cynodon dactylon L. Pers. J. Agron. Crop Sci. 179:123126.
Bagavathy S. and Xavier G. S. A. 2007. Effects of aqueous extract of Eucalyptus globulus on germination and seedling growth of sorghum. Allelop. J. 20:395402.
Batish D. R., Setia N., Singh H. P., and Kohli R. K. 2004. Phytotoxicity of lemon-scented eucalypt oil and its potential use as a bioherbicide. Crop Prot. 23:12091214.
Batish D. R., Singh H. P., Kohli R. K., and Kaur S. 2008. Eucalyptus essential oil as a natural pesticide. Forest Ecol. Manag. 256:21662174.
Belz R. G., Cedergreen N., and Duke S. O. 2011. Herbicide hormesis - can it be useful in crop production? Weed Res. 51:321332.
Bhowmik P. C. 2003. Inderjit. 2003. Challenges and opportunities in implementing allelopathy for natural weed management. Crop Prot. 22:661671.
Böger P. 2003. Mode of action for chloroacetamides and functionally related compounds. J. Pestic. Sci. 28:324329.
Campiglia E., Radicetti E., and Mancinelli R. 2012. Weed control strategies and yield response in a pepper crop (Capsicum annuum L.) mulched with hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth.) and oat (Avena sativa L.) residues. Crop Prot. 33:6573.
Cherr C. M., Scholberg J. M. S., and McSorley R. 2006. Green manure approaches to crop production: A synthesis. Agron. J. 98:302319.
De Albuquerque M. B., Dos Santos R. C., Lima L. M., Melo Filho P. D. A., Nogueira R. J. M. C., Da Câmara –C. A. G., and Ramos A. D. R. 2011. Allelopathy, an alternative tool to improve cropping systems. A review. Agron. Sustain. Dev. 31:379395.
Dhima K. V., Vasilakoglou I. B., Eleftherohorinos I. G., and Lithourgidis A. S. 2006. Allelopathic potential of winter cereals and their cover crop mulch effect on grass weed suppression and corn development. Crop Sci. 46:345352.
Dhima K. V., Vasilakoglou I. B., Gatsis Th. D., Panou-Philotheou E., and Eleftherohorinos I. G. 2009. Effects of aromatic plants incorporated as green manure on weed and maize development. Field Crop Res. 110:235241.
Djanaguiraman M., Ravishankar P., and Bangarusamy U. 2002. Effect of Eucalyptus globulus on greengram, blackgram and cowpea. Allelop. J. 10:157162.
Duke S. O. 2010. Allelopathy: current status of research and future of the discipline: A commentary. Allelop. J. 25:1730.
Duke S. O., Dayan F. E., Rimando A. M., Schrader K. K., Aliotta G., Oliva A., and Romagni J. G. 2002. Chemicals from nature for weed management. Weed Sci. 50:138151.
El-Khawas S. A. and Shehata M. M. 2005. The allelopathic potentialities of Acacia nilotica and Eucalyptus rostrata on monocot (Zea mays L.) and dicot (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) plants. Biotechnology 4:2334.
El-Rokiek K. G. and Eid R. A. 2009. Allelopathic effects of Eucalyptus citriodora on Amaryllis and associated grassy weed. Planta Daninha 27(Special Issue):887899.
El-Rokiek K. G., Messiha N. K., El-Masry R. R., and Saad El-Din S. A. 2011. Evaluating the leaf residues of Eucalyptus globulus and Mangifera indica on growth of Cynodon dactylon and Echinochloa colonum . J. Appl. Sci. Res. 7:17931799.
Espinosa-Garcia F. J., Martínez-Hernández E., and Quiroz-Flores A. 2008. Allelopathic potential of Eucalyptus spp plantations on germination and early growth of annual crops. Allelop. J. 21:2538.
European Parliament. 2009. Directive 2009/128/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 October 2009 establishing a framework for Community action to achieve the sustainable use of pesticides. Accesed: March 20, 2011.
FAO. 1995. Eucalyptus oil. Chapter 5. In: Flavour and Fragances of Plant Origin. Rome, Italy Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Accessed: November 10, 2010.
Fujii Y. 2001. Screening and future exploitation of allelopathic plants as alternative herbicides with special reference to hairy vetch. Pages 257275 in Kohli R. K., Singh H. P., and Batish D. R., eds. Allelopathy in Agroecosystems. Binghamton, NY Food Products Press.
Gallandt E. R. 2006. How can we target the weed seedbank? Weed Sci. 54:588596.
Grosso C., Coelho J. A., Urieta J. S., Palavra A. M. F., and Barroso J. G. 2010. Herbicidal activity of volatiles from coriander, winter savory, cotton lavender, and thyme isolated by hydrodistillation and supercritical fluid extraction. J. Agric. Food Chem. 58:1100711013.
Guo L. B. and Sims R. E. H. 2002. Eucalypt litter decomposition and nutrient release under a short rotation forest regime and effluent irrigation treatments in New Zealand: II. Internal effects. Soil Biol. Biochem. 34:913922.
Khanh T. D., Chung M. I., Xuan T. D., and Tawata S. 2005. The exploitation of crop allelopathy in sustainable agricultural production. J. Agron. Crop Sci. 191:172184.
Kobayashi K. 2004. Factors affecting phytotoxic activity of allelochemicals in soil. Weed Biol. Manage. 4:17.
Kruidhof H. M., Bastiaans L., and Kropff M. J. 2008. Ecological weed management by cover cropping: effects on weed growth in autumn and weed establishment in spring. Weed Res. 48:492502.
Kruidhof H. M., Bastiaans L., and Kropff M. J. 2009. Cover crop residue management for optimizing weed control. Plant Soil. 318:169184.
Lisanework N. and Michelsen A. 1993. Allelopathy in agroforestry systems: the effects of leaf extracts of Cupressus lusitanica and three Eucalyptus spp. on four Ethiopian crops. Agroforest. Syst. 21:6374.
Madeira A. C., Madeira M., Fabião A., Marques P., and Carneiro M. 2010. Impact of harvest residues, fertilisers and N-fixing plants on growth and nutritional status of young Eucalyptus globulus plantations, under Mediterranean conditions. Eur. J. Forest. Res. 129:591601.
MARM. 2006. Forestry statistics. Ministry of Environmental, Rural, and Marine Affairs. Madrid, Spain. [In Spanish]. Accessed: November 10, 2010.
Mayer A. M., and Poljakoff-Mayber A., eds. 1963. The Germination of Seeds Pergamon Press, Oxford. 244 p.
Meissle M., Mouron P., Musa T., Bigler F., Pons X., Vasileiadis V. P., Otto S., Antichi D., Kiss J., Pálinkás Z., Dorner Z., Van Der Weide R., Groten J., Czembor E., Adamczyk J., Thibord J. B., Melander B., Nielsen G. C., Poulsen R. T., Zimmermann O., Verschwele A., and Oldenburg E. 2010. Pests, pesticide use and alternative options in European maize production: current status and future prospects. J. Appl. Entomol. 134:357375.
Miller T. W. 2007. Natural herbicides and amendments for organic weed control. ACS Symposium Series 947:174185.
Moore M. J., Gillespie T. J., and Swanton C. J. 1994. Effect of cover crop mulches on weed emergence, weed biomass, and soybean (Glycine max) development. Weed Technol. 8:512518.
Moradshahi A., Ghadiri H., and Ebrahimikia F. 2003. Allelopathic effects of crude volatile oil and aqueous extracts of Eucalyptus camaldulensis Dehnh. leaves on crops and weeds. Allelop. J. 12:189195.
Mubarak A. R., Daldoum D. M. A., and Sayed A. M. 2009. Note on the influence of leaf extracts of Nine Trees on seed germination, radicle and hypocotyl elongation of maize and sorghum. Int. J. Agric. Biol. 11:340342.
Padhy B., Patnaik P. K., and Tripathy A. K. 2000. Allelopathic potential of Eucalyptus leaf litter leachates on germination and seedling growth of fingermillet. Allelop. J. 7:6978.
Pawar K. B. and Chavan P. D. 2007. Influence of leaf leachates of soybean, Moringa, Parthenium and Eucalyptus on carbohydrate metabolism in germinating seeds of Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench. Allelop. J. 19:543548.
Sasikumar K., Vijayalakshmi C., and Parthiban K. T. 2002. Allelopathic effects of Eucalyptus on blackgram (Phaseolus mungo L.). Allelop. J. 9:205214.
Souto X. C., González L., and Reigosa M. J. 1994. Comparative-analysis of allelopathic effects produced by 4 forestry species during decomposition process in their soils in Galicia (NW Spain). J. Chem. Ecol. 20:30053015.
Turnbull J. W. 1999. Eucalypt plantations. New Forest. 17:3752.
Vasileaidis V. P., Sattin M., Otto S., Veres A., Pálinkás Z., Ban R., Pons X., Kudsk P., van der Weide R., Czembor E., Moonen A. C., and Kiss J. 2011. Crop protection in European maize-based cropping systems: Current practices and recommendations for innovative Integrated Pest Management. Agr. Syst. 104:533540.
Viera M. and Schumacher M. V. 2011. Biomass in monospecific and mixed stands of eucalyptus and black wattle and corn in an agroforestry system. Cerne 17:259265.
Willis R. J. 1991. Research on allelopathy on Eucalyptus in India and Pakistan. Commonw. For. Rev. 70:279289.
Wuest S. B., Albrecht S. L., and Skirvin K. W. 2000. Crop residue position and interference with wheat seedling development. Soil Till. Res. 55:175182.
Xuan T. D., Shinkichi T., Khanh T. D., and Min C. I. 2005. Biological control of weeds and plant pathogens in paddy rice by exploiting plant allelopathy: an overview. Crop Prot. 24:197206.
Yamagushi M. Q., Gusman G. S., and Vestena S. 2011. Allelopathic effect of aqueous extracts of Eucalyptus globulus Labill. and of Casearia sylvestris Sw. on crops. Semina: Ciencias Agrarias 32:13611374.
Zhang J., An M., Wu H., Stanton R., and Lemerle D. 2010. Chemistry and bioactivity of Eucalyptus essential oils. Allelop. J. 25:313330.
Zhang C. and Fu S. 2009. Allelopathic effects of eucalyptus and the establishment of mixed stands of eucalyptus and native species. Forest Ecol. Manag. 258:13911396.
Zhang C. and Fu S. 2010. Allelopathic effects of leaf litter and live roots exudates of Eucalyptus species on crops. Allelop. J. 26:9199.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Weed Science
  • ISSN: 0043-1745
  • EISSN: 1550-2759
  • URL: /core/journals/weed-science
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Type Description Title
Supplementary materials

Puig et al. supplementary material
Supplemental Material

 Word (18 KB)
18 KB


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 23 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 79 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 20th January 2017 - 16th January 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.