Hybridization as a Stimulus for the Evolution of Invasiveness in Plants
Ellstrand, Norman .
Six years of surprises after the publication of “Hybridization as a stimulus for the evolution of invasiveness in plants?”.
IN 1949, Edgar Anderson coined the term “superweed” to describe newly invasive lineages resulting from hybridization between crops and their wild relatives. During the next half century, the role of hybridization in adaptive evolution was examined by an array of evolutionary botanists from Stebbins and Levin to Abbott and Barrett. In 2000, Kristina Schierenbeck and I published a paper called, “Hybridization as a stimulus for the evolution of invasiveness in plants?”, listing 28 well-documented examples and considering why hybridization might lead to more aggressive lineages. Apparently, it was the right time for such a paper. At the writing of this abstract, the article has been reprinted in three times and has received well over one hundred citations. In my talk I will update the 2000 study with several new examples, and take a second look at the prior examples. Also, I will examine some biological commonalities that emerge from this larger list. The research published since the 2000 paper reveals that (1) the phenomenon is not rare for plants, (2) hybridization can stimulate the evolution of invasiveness in organisms other than plants, but (3) some “classic” examples from plants may not involve hybridization as previously suggested. Furthermore, (4) the evolution of invasiveness via hybridization can explain some of the paradoxes of the occurrence of invasiveness. Most importantly, (5) it is now clear and well-accepted that invasiveness can evolve. By hybridizing the fields of plant evolution, plant ecology, and applied plant science, the question “Hybridization as a stimulus for the evolution of invasiveness in plants?” has stimulated a new and growing multidisplinary field of study that promises to shed new light on old problems in botany.
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1 - University of California Riverside, Department of Botany & Plant Sciences, Riverside, California, 92521-0124, USA
Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Date: Wednesday, August 2nd, 2006
Time: 8:00 AM