Hybrid Bluebells

There was an interesting paper earlier this year in Conservation Genetics by Peter Hollingsworth and Markus Rusham at RBGE, plus collaborators in Canada and New Zealand, concerning hybridization potential between native and introduced bluebells. Using an experimental array allowing natural pollination to occur among flowering plants, and determining the paternity of offspring using microsatellite markers, they conclude that “lower reproductive success of non-natives coupled with the massive numerical advantage of natives represents a substantial constraint against ‘extinction-by-hybridization’ of H. non-scripta in the UK”. Some good news then.

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