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Gene flow between introduced and native Eucalyptus species: Exotic hybrids are establishing in the wild

Barbour, RC, Potts, BM and Vaillancourt, RE 2003 , 'Gene flow between introduced and native Eucalyptus species: Exotic hybrids are establishing in the wild' , Australian Journal of Botany, vol. 51, no. 4 , pp. 429-439 , doi:

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F1 hybrids between exotic Eucalyptus nitens plantations and native E. ovata have previously been reported among seedlings grown from open-pollinated seed collected from E. ovata, on the island of Tasmania. Such exotic hybrid seedlings have now been found in the wild adjacent to plantations at three locations. The proportion of exotic hybrids in open-pollinated seed collected from nearby mature E. ovata was 5.5%. This level compares with only 0.4% for natural hybrids between native species at these sites (E. ovata, E. viminalis and E. rodwayi). Detection of hybrids was initially based on their deviant morphology, which was generally intermediate between parental species. This subjective classification was then successfully verified by morphometric and allozyme analyses. Pure E. nitens seedlings (wildlings) were restricted to within 30 m of these plantations, whereas established hybrids were found up to 310 m from the plantations. This pattern of establishment reflects dispersal of exotic seed and pollen respectively. It is likely that the recent expansion of the eucalypt plantation estate in Australia will cause an increase in the frequency of exotic hybrids. However, the long-term impact of such hybridisation is yet to be assessed.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Barbour, RC and Potts, BM and Vaillancourt, RE
Keywords: genetic pollution exotic hybrids
Journal or Publication Title: Australian Journal of Botany
ISSN: 0067-1924
DOI / ID Number:
Additional Information:

BM Potts.

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