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Allelopathy in macroalgae: ecological principles, research opportunities and pitfalls reviewed
Semmouri, I.; Janssen, C.R.; Asselman, J. (2024). Allelopathy in macroalgae: ecological principles, research opportunities and pitfalls reviewed. J. Appl. Phycol. 36: 441-458. https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10811-023-03110-z
In: Journal of Applied Phycology. Springer: Dordrecht. ISSN 0921-8971; e-ISSN 1573-5176, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    Allelopathy; Allelochemicals; Chemical defence; Biodiscovery marine ecology; Species interactions; Marine ecology; Antifouling

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    Macroalgae are a vast source of bioactive metabolites, some of which are produced as a defence against competing and/or fouling species, i.e., allelochemicals. As both the occurrence of allelopathy in seaweed and its underlying mechanisms are understudied, we summarised the current knowledge on this phenomenon, as well as elucidate opportunities and challenges in this emerging field. We mark out which biotic and environmental factors govern the stability and durability of allelopathic interactions, and which of them might confound conclusions on the absence/presence of allelopathy in macroalgae. We compiled information of the taxonomic position of 138 putative allelopathic species of brown, green, and red seaweeds, as well as the identity of the compounds they produce. Additionally, we characterise which physiological processed are likely targeted by aquatic allelochemicals. In summary, this work updates our understanding of the occurrence of allelopathy in seaweed on a global scale as well as their allelochemicals affecting competitors, providing recommendations for future research on this topic.

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