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Population dynamics and regeneration of a hybrid zone between Eucalyptus risdonii Hook. f. and E. amygdalina Labill

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-17, 19:41 authored by Bradley PottsBradley Potts

Regeneration of a hybrid zone between E. amygdalina and E. risdonii and pure species stands following wildfire is reported, as well as the reproductive and vegetative fitness of parental and hybrid phenotypes. E. risdonii phenotypes dominated the seed rain and seedling cohort and there was clearly a marked fitness differential between E. amygdalina and E. risdonii at their boundary. When the F1 type hybrid is in competition with both parental types it is generally reproductively the least fit, although frequently vegetatively vigorous. Reduced fitness appears to extend to advanced generations as hybrid phenotypes tending.toward either species are, on average, less fit than the corresponding parental type.

The pattern of phenotypic fitness suggests that the species' boundary is in disequilibrium and it is argued that E. risdonii is invading the range of E. amygdalina by both pollen and seed migration. There is an asymmetric distribution of F1 type hybrids across the boundary and the hybrid swarm examined is being invaded by E. risdonii genes. It is suggested that hybridization may be associated with natural disequilibrium and, where seed migration is limited, boundary movements may be preceded by a wave of hybridization due partly to pollen swamping of the least fit species. Hybrid swarms may develop but, at the boundary of large stands, are probably transitory. There is a marked inertia in the population response to the prevailing selective regime due to the extremely slow population turnover and limited dispersal potential. This is discussed in the broader context of non-equilibrium models where it is argued that dispersal may be the factor limiting population response to perturbation of a shallow environmental gradient. This is due to large geographical shifts in the position of the null point and would be accentuated in a patchy environment where migration as a front is prevented.


Publication title

Australian Journal of Botany








School of Natural Sciences


CSIRO Publishing

Place of publication

Collingwood, Australia

Rights statement

Copyright 1986 CSIRO

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Native forests

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