“… within 10 seconds of contact the neighboring plants’ roots begin producing chemicals that set off a cascade of events that will ultimately kill their own cells.”
A few days later the plant is dead, and then the field.
“One plant arrives in a field where there are a lot of native plants,” Dr. Vivanco said. “The next year you see not one, but actually a patch of spotted knapweed where the natives were. And if there are still native plants near it, they don’t look so healthy.”
A few years later the entire eco-system is destroyed.
“…Montana … vast monoculture of spotted knapweed, Dr. Vivanco said, as have millions of acres in that particularly hard-hit state.”
“…elk herds have altered migration pathways to avoid vast inedible swaths of it.”
Allelopathy isn’t unknown as a business method. For example here’s a tiny firm pumping a powerful toxin into the soil provided by Internet browsers – soil that in turn supports the entire Web eco-system. Then, of course, there is a long tradition of powerful firms – ah – managing the air supply‘ of the complementary products in “their” eco-systems.