Potential Effects of Essential Oils Extracted from Mediterranean Aromatic Plants on Target Weeds and Soil Microorganisms

Luigi Badalucco, Vito Armando Laudicina, Amira Jouini, Eristanna Palazzolo, Mercedes Verdeguer, Fabrizio Araniti, Samuele Pinton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Essential oils (EOs), extracted from aromatic plants, have been proposed as candidates todevelop natural herbicides. This study aimed to evaluate the herbicidal potential of Thymbra capitata(L.) Cav., Mentha piperita L. and Santolina chamaecyparissus L. essential oils (EOs) on Avena fatua L.,Echinochloa crus-galli (L.) P. Beauv, Portulaca oleracea L. and Amaranthus retroflexus L. and their effectson soil microorganisms. A pot experiment was set up and three EOs at three doses were appliedby irrigation. Ecacy and effects of EOs on weed growth were determined. Soil microbial biomasscarbon and nitrogen, microbial respiration, and the main microbial groups were determined at days7, 28 and 56. EOs demonstrated herbicidal activity, increasing their toxicity with the dose. T. capitatawas the most eective against all weeds at the maximum dose. P. oleracea was the most resistant weed.Soil microorganisms, after a transient upheaval period induced by the addition of EOs, recovered theirinitial function and biomass. T. capitata EO at the highest dose did not allow soil microorganisms torecover their initial functionality. EOs exhibited great potential as natural herbicides but the optimumdose of application must be identified to control weeds and not negatively affect soil microorganisms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
JournalPlants
Volume9
Publication statusPublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Plant Science

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