Fwd: PBS website contact:Current distribution of Watsonia meriana var. bulbillifera

Cody H plantboy@gmail.com
Fri, 08 Jun 2018 17:12:06 PDT
I think the thesis is that plants (populations) that reproduce sexually
should have higher potential to succeed as invaders across differing
environments than plants that reproduce asexually, because sexual
 reproduction allows populations to shift their genetic makeup over time to
better fit to their environment (whereas asexual reproduction just produces
clones and the genetic makeup of the population never changes).

There’s a central assumption here though that the initial populations of
sexual vs. asexually reproducing species/populations have essentially
similar niche conservatism to begin with. If they don’t, for instance if
the asexual species is *already* more capable/adaptable/weedy/what-have-you
(I.e. less niche-conserved) than the sexually reproducing one, I don’t see
why that would change as a result of being introduced to a new location.

On Fri, Jun 8, 2018 at 2:17 PM Mary Sue Ittner <msittner@mcn.org> wrote:

> I'm not sure I understood the thesis. This plant is taking over coastal
> Sonoma and Mendocino counties, California. But if you look at our photos
> on the wiki, there are areas of South Africa that is it problematic too.
> Photo take at Lion's Head.
> https://pacificbulbsociety.org/pbswiki/files/…
> Mary Sue
> > I am a postgraduate student at La Trobe University, Victoria,
> > Australia, and my research project involves the modelling of species
> > distribution of Watsonia meriana var. meriana, and its variety, W.
> > meriana var. bulbillifera. One of my research goals is to show that W.
> > meriana var. bulbillifera is likely to undergo ecological niche
> > conservation, following its introduction to Australia, compared to its
> > sexually-reproducing congener. This is based on my hypothesis that the
> > asexually reproducing bulbil form would not have generated sufficient
> > genetic diversity to spread into novel environments.
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