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Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 300, Issue 9, pp 1959–1972 | Cite as

Is the insular endemic Psidium socorrense (Myrtaceae) at risk of extinction through hybridization?

  • Alfredo López-Caamal
  • Zenón Cano-Santana
  • Jaime Jiménez-Ramírez
  • Rolando Ramírez-Rodríguez
  • Efraín Tovar-Sánchez
Original Article

Abstract

Natural hybridization between an insular endemic species and a widely distributed congener may endanger the endemic through genetic assimilation or outbreeding depression. Furthermore, hybrids can exhibit complex morphological variation, causing taxonomic problems in the identification of the involved taxa. In this work, we used a combination of leaf morphological and molecular markers (RAPD) to establish the differentiation between Psidium sp. aff. sartorianum and the insular endemic P. socorrense. It was also determined if hybridization between these taxa occurs in the southern slope of Isla Socorro, Mexico. Plant collection was carried along an altitudinal gradient (100–800 m). We collected eight populations separated 100 m a.s.l. apart from each other; 25 individuals were collected per population. Psidium socorrense and P. sp. aff. sartorianum differed significantly in all but two morphological characters measured. Also, a high number of diagnostic RAPD markers were found for each taxon. These results suggest that two Psidium species occur at Isla Socorro. Furthermore, both morphological and RAPD markers revealed a hybrid zone located in the southern slope of Isla Socorro (400–700 m a.s.l.) with an asymmetrical pattern of gene flow towards P. socorrense. We suggest that the disturbance caused by the sheep population in the mixed stand favors the establishment of hybrids. We further discuss whether hybridization represents a threat to the insular endemic P. socorrense.

Keywords

Disturbance Genetic assimilation Insular endemic species Morphology Psidium RAPD 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank Maribel Paniagua Ibañez, Leonardo Beltrán, Paulette Arellano Vignettes, Guadalupe Rangel Altamirano, L. Márquez Valdemar, and Elgar Castillo Mendoza for technical assistance. We also thank Mauricio Mora Jarvio for his field assistance and Ramiro Cruz-Durán for providing excellent Psidium illustrations.

Supplementary material

606_2014_1025_MOESM1_ESM.doc (143 kb)
Supplementary material Phenotype characterization (Schwarzbach et al. 2001) of 17 leaf morphological characters in mixed stands between Psidium sp. aff. sartorianum and P. socorrense in Socorro Island, Mexico. (DOC 143 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alfredo López-Caamal
    • 1
  • Zenón Cano-Santana
    • 2
  • Jaime Jiménez-Ramírez
    • 3
  • Rolando Ramírez-Rodríguez
    • 1
  • Efraín Tovar-Sánchez
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de Sistemática y Evolución, Centro de Investigación en Biodiversidad y ConservaciónUniversidad Autónoma del Estado de MorelosCuernavacaMexico
  2. 2.Departamento de Ecología y Recursos Naturales, Facultad de CienciasUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoMexico, DFMexico
  3. 3.Departamento de Biología Comparada, Facultad de CienciasUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoMexico, DFMexico

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