Can plant biochemistry contribute to understanding of invasion ecology?

Inderjit, Ragan M. Callaway, Jorge M. Vivanco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

109 Scopus citations


Ecologists have long searched for an explanation as to why some plant invaders become much more dominant in their naturalized range than in their native range, and, accordingly, several non-exclusive ecological hypotheses have been proposed. Recently, a biochemical explanation was proposed - the 'novel weapons hypothesis' - based on findings that Centaurea diffusa and Centaurea maculosa produce bioactive compounds (weapons) that are more active against naïve plant species in the introduced range than against co-evolved species in the native range. In this Opinion article, we revise and expand this biochemical hypothesis and discuss experimental and conceptual advances and limitations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)574-580
Number of pages7
JournalTrends in Plant Science
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2006


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