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Research Articles

Hybridization between native and invasive alien plants: an overlooked threat to the biodiversity of Sri Lanka

Authors:

Deepthi Yakandawala ,

Department of Botany, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, LK
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Kapila Yakandawala

Department of Horticulture & Landscape Gardening, Faculty of Agriculture & Plantation Management, Wayamba University of Sri Lanka, Makandura, Gonawila, LK
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Abstract

Conservation of native biological diversity is one of the major challenges of this century. Invasive alien species (IAS) are a part of this challenge because a small but a significant fraction of IAS contribute to the demise of native species. The present paper reviews current literature on the phenomenon of hybridization in plants supporting the evolution of invasiveness, which is identified as a major threat to the extinction of native species. Further, the phenomenon of hybridization is been reviewed on a Sri Lankan context by citing evidence from a preliminary study between the native Nymphaea nouchali and an introduced violet flowered water-lily that has got established in water-bodies of Sri Lanka. This violet flowered water-lily has been incorrectly identified as the native Nymphaea nouchali, the National flower of Sri Lanka (‘Nil Manel’). Revealing the flawed identity of the violet flowered Nymphaea, its hybrid origin and the hybridization with the native N. nouchali, provides an excellent opportunity for initiating studies on a novel area in hybridization between natives and invasive alien species of plants in Sri Lanka.  

Key words: biodiversity conservation, Nymphaea, evolution, ‘Nil Manel’, Invasive Alien Species (IAS)

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4038/cjsbs.v40i1.3403

CJSBS 2011; 40(1): 13-23   

How to Cite: Yakandawala, D. & Yakandawala, K., (2011). Hybridization between native and invasive alien plants: an overlooked threat to the biodiversity of Sri Lanka. Ceylon Journal of Science (Biological Sciences). 40(1), pp.13–23. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/cjsbs.v40i1.3403
Published on 24 Aug 2011.
Peer Reviewed

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