Publisher: Canadian Science Publishing, NRC Research Press
On the island of Oland the weed, Silene vulgaris (Moench) Garcke, and the endemic, Silene uniflora Roth ssp. petraea, hybridize when brought into contact by anthropogenic disturbance. Variation was studied in transects across a hybrid zone where a linear population of S. vulgaris crossed the native habitat of S. uniflora ssp. petraea. Plants were scored for 20 morphological characters. Although individual characters showed clinal trends between weed and endemic, all plants were assignable to one or other parental species. Only 14% of the 554 scored plants showed intermediacy in one or a few characters, and ordinations showed two separate groups of samples. The low number of intermediates is discussed in terms of character choice, habitat separation, disturbance history, and reproductive ecology. The results of the study are consistent with the earlier observation that the species have remained morphologically distinct on Oland, despite evidence of sparse introgression of allozymes from weed to endemic. Disturbance is necessary not only for the creation of intermediate (hybrid) habitats but also for the establishment of the weedy parent. The transient nature of S. vulgaris populations is likely to be important in limiting introgression into S. uniflora ssp. petraea under the present disturbance regime.