Title

Molecular Detection of a Non-Native Hybrid Eelgrass, Vallisneria spiralis Linnaeus (1753) × V. denseserrulata Makino (1921), In the Southeastern United States

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

10-1-2021

Department

Coastal Sciences, Gulf Coast Research Laboratory

School

Ocean Science and Engineering

Abstract

During a genetic survey of Vallisneria americana in the southeastern United States, a non-native hybrid between V. spiralis Linnaeus and V. denseserrulata Makino was detected in eight locations across Florida and Alabama. Although previously reported in Japan, Hungary, and Australia, this is the first documented occurrence of the hybrid in North America. Because natural ranges of both parent species are not sympatric in the wild, it is thought that the hybridization event occurred in aquaria. The presence of both species in the aquarium pet trade also makes the industry a potential source of the introduction in the United States. More extensive sampling will be necessary to determine the full distribution of the hybrid, as well as to evaluate its potential impact on native Vallisneria populations and the aquatic ecosystems they support.

Publication Title

Aquatic Botany

Volume

175

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