Plant hybridization: the role of human disturbance and biological invasion
Aim Anderson & Stebbins (1954, Evolution, 8, 378–388) posited that human activities promote species hybridizations by creating opportunities for hybridization and new habitats for hybrids to persist through disturbances (i.e. the ‘disturbance hypothesis’). While the first part of this hypothesis appears to be well supported, the second part has not been corroborated with empirical evidence, probably because of the lack of appropriate data. In this study, I (1) document the richness and distribution of hybrid plants in the United States; (2) examine the relationships between hybrids of different origins and between hybrid plants and native or exotic plants; and (3) examine possible mechanisms for these relationships and test the disturbance hypothesis.