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Abstract Detail


Williams, Jared [1], Lambert, Adam [2], Long, Randy [3], Saltonstall, Kristin [4].

Does hybrid Phragmites australis differ from native and introduced lineages in reproductive, genetic, and morphological traits?

Hybridization between previously isolated species can stimulate invasiveness because of increased genetic diversity and inherited traits facilitating competitive and reproductive potential. We evaluated differences in stand characteristics and sexual and vegetative reproduction among native, introduced, and hybrid Phragmites australis lineages in the southwestern US. We also assessed the degree of hybridization among lineages and backcrossing with parental lineages. Growth and morphological characteristics were measured in native, introduced, and hybrid Phragmites stands to evaluate relative cover and dominance in associated plant communities. Panicles were collected from stands to evaluate germination, dormancy, and differences in seed traits. Seedlings from germination trials were genotyped to determine frequency of crossing and backcrossing. Introduced and hybrid Phragmites stands had significantly greater stem and panicle densities than native stands and were more likely to be dominant members of their respective communities. Hybrid seed outputs were significantly greater, but hybrid seeds had lower germination rates than those from native and introduced lineages. We detected a novel hybridization event between native and introduced lineages, but found no strong evidence of hybrids backcrossing with parental lineages. Hybrid Phragmites in the Southwest exhibits reproductive, genetic, and morphological characteristics from both parental lineages that facilitate dispersal, establishment, and aggressive growth, including high reproductive output, rhizome viability, and aboveground biomass, with smaller seeds and greater genetic diversity than its progenitors. Our results show hybrids can inherit traits that confer invasiveness and provide insight for managing this species complex and other cryptic species with native and introduced variants with potential for intraspecific hybridization.

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Related Links:
Williams et al 2019

1 - SUNY ESF, Department Of Forestry And Natural Resources, Department Of Forestry And Natural Resources, Syracuse, CA, 13210, United States
2 - University of California, Santa Barbara, Marine Science Institute, USA
3 - 792 Willow Walk, Apt C, Goleta, CA, 93117, United States
4 - Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Balboa, Ancon, Republic of Panama


Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: BIOG1, Biogeography I
Location: Tucson E/Starr Pass
Date: Monday, July 29th, 2019
Time: 9:15 AM
Number: BIOG1006
Abstract ID:360
Candidate for Awards:None


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