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Trends Ecol Evol. 1992 Dec;7(12):401-5. doi: 10.1016/0169-5347(92)90020-C.

Plant invasions, interspecific hybridization and the evolution of new plant taxa.

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Richard Abbott is at the Division of Environmental and Evolutionary Biology, School of Biological and Medical Science, University of St Andrews, St Andrews, Fife, UK KY 169TH.


Interspecific hybridization between a native and an invading plant species, or two invading species, sometimes results in a new, sexually reproducing taxon. Several examples of such taxa have been confirmed by recent molecular and isozyme analyses. Further study of these new taxa, when recognized soon after their origin, should aim to elucidate the factors that influence their subsequent establishment and spread, thus leading to a better understanding of the processes that lead to successful speciation. Plant hybrids formed following a plant invasion provide great potential for the study of 'evolution in action'.

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