Abstract Detail

Conservation Biology

Lozada Gobilard , Sissi Donna [1], Zhu, Jinlei [2], Panková, Hana [2], Stojanova, Bojana [3], Zuzana, Münzbergová [2].

Potential risk of interspecific hybridization in ex situ collections.

Plant conservation can be achieved through protection of species in their natural habitats: in situ or in artificial facilities outside their habitats: ex situ conservation. Ex situ conservation in botanical gardens or arboreta are essential for revegetation and reintroduction programs of plant species in the wild. However, the quality and reliability of ex situ collections for such purposes has been questioned, due to the associated maladaptive changes in plants from botanic gardens compared to their wild counterparts. In addition, ex situ collections can also create new opportunities for hybridization bringing together geographically isolated taxa, potentially contaminating plant species destined for reintroduction into the wild. Despite the general recognition of the importance of such danger, studies exploring the consequences of hybridization including subsequent performance of the hybrids in comparison to the original species are rare. The aim of the present study was to assess the potential consequences of hybridization between the endangered endemic serpentine species, Minuartia smejkalii, and its congener allopatric species, M. caespitosa. We performed artificial inter-specific crosses and compared seed production, germination, growth, seed morphology and dispersal ability between M. smejkalii and M. smejkalii × M. caespitosa hybrids. Our results showed that M. smejkalii and M. caespitosa can hybridize and produce viable seeds. Number of seeds per capsule produced by M. smejkalii and the hybrids did not differ but germination rates were higher in the hybrids. In addition, hybrids produced a higher number of flowers than M. smejkalii in open sites and serpentine soils, indicating that the hybrids perform better in the extreme serpentine conditions than the original serpentine species. Seed release height did not differ but hybrids presented a higher terminal velocity, suggesting a lower dispersal ability compared to M. smejkalii. However, simulation results showed a higher maximum dispersal in hybrids compared with M. smejkalii. Our results provide evidence that hybrid individuals from ex situ collections might outcompete the endemic M. smejkalii in the wild, if they are introduced by mistake. Therefore, for conservation and reintroduction purposes, ex situ hybridization events should be considered as a potential threat and treated carefully establishing an adequate management of potentially crossable species and cautious selection of individuals to be used for reintroduction.

Related Links:
Life for Minuartia

1 - Institute of Botany of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Department of population biology, Zámek 1, 252 43 Průhonice, Czechia, Prague, Prague-West District, 25243, Czech Republic
2 - Institute of Botany of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Department of population biology, Zámek 1, 252 43 Průhonice, Czech Republic, Prague
3 -

ex situ
Minuartia smejkalii

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: CB2, Conservation Biology 2
Location: Virtual/Virtual
Date: Monday, July 27th, 2020
Time: 1:15 PM
Number: CB2004
Abstract ID:276
Candidate for Awards:None

Copyright © 2000-2020, Botanical Society of America. All rights reserved