Native plant materials (NPMs) are increasingly utilized during the restoration of disturbed plant communities. Here, we analyze next‐generation genetic sequencing data for Hilaria jamesii, a dominant graminoid across drylands of the southwestern United States, and document that the species' only commercially‐available NPM, ‘Viva’, is a hybrid between H. jamesii and its sister species, H. mutica. In fact, hybrids between these species are common where they geographically overlap. Furthermore, we show that the ‘Viva’ hybrid has successfully been moved beyond the hybrid zone and into the core range of H. jamesii. The potential ramifications of introducing novel genetic material into H. jamesii are discussed, as well as the utility of genetic analyses to protect species natural patterns of genetic diversity and help managers make informed decisions regarding the development and deployment of NPMs.
|Title||Unexpected hybridization reveals the utility of genetics in native plant restoration|
|Authors||Daniel E. Winkler, Robert Massatti|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||Restoration Ecology|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Southwest Biological Science Center|