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Interspecific Hybridization in the Ranunculus lappaceus Group

Barbara G. Briggs
Evolution
Vol. 16, No. 3 (Sep., 1962), pp. 372-390
DOI: 10.2307/2406286
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2406286
Page Count: 19
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Interspecific Hybridization in the Ranunculus lappaceus Group
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Abstract

Evidence of natural hybridization among nine species of the Ranunculus lappaceus group of south-eastern Australia has been obtained from morphological studies of population samples. All the species have similar karyotypes, and natural hybrids show normal meiosis and high fertility. Plants described as R. ligulatus and R. victoriensis appear to be of hybrid origin, the latter being a well-established and partially stabilized hybrid derivative. The species differ in their ecological adaptations, as shown both by field observations and transplant experiments. In general, the hybrids are rigidly restricted to narrow marginal zones between stands of the parental species and this restriction appears to be the principal factor limiting gene flow between species of contiguous areas. The evolutionary flexibility provided by such reliance upon ecological barriers has been discussed.

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