Anthropogenic disturbance promotes hybridization between Banksia species by altering their biology

B.B. Lamont, T. He, N.J. Enright, Siegfried Krauss, B.P. Miller

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    121 Citations (Scopus)


    Putative hybrids between Banksia hookeriana and B. prionotes were identified among 12 of 106 populations of B. hookeriana located at or near anthropogenically disturbed sites, mainly roadways, but none in 156 undisturbed populations. Morphometrics and AFLP markers confirmed that a hybrid swarm existed in a selected disturbed habitat, whereas no intermediates were present where the two species co-occurred in undisturbed vegetation. Individuals of both species in disturbed habitats at 12 sites were more vigorous, with greater size and more flower heads than their counterparts in undisturbed vegetation. These more fecund plants also showed a shift in season and duration of flowering. By promoting earlier flowering of B. hookeriana plants and prolonging flowering of B. prionotes , anthropogenic disturbance broke the phenological barrier between these two species. We conclude that anthropogenic disturbance promotes hybridization through increasing opportunities for gene flow by reducing interpopulation separation, increasing gamete production and, especially, promoting coflowering.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)551-557
    JournalJournal of Evolutionary Biology
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2003


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