At the outset, the study seems vaguely analogous to the "clone wars" that exist in some invertebrate (Cnidarian) populations -- where asexual anemones from one population can chemically recognize outsiders -- non-related clones -- and "actively" combat them for resources; in their case, the competition is, just as plants, is also for space. Some are capable of physically forcing others off rock surfaces. It just seemed logical that that competitive principle might also apply to other sessile organisms -- plants included
I certainly see the resemblance to the common Clone Wars example, but there's a twist here. That's the recognition of a degree of relatedness. I'm curious to see what sort of specificity the mechanism grants. How related is related enough? It's different from clone wars in that regard -- it isn't just a case of self vs nonself. And then there's the question of the workings of the mechanism itself... It stands to reason that such a response should exist, but elucidation of the mechanism would certainly be interesting.