A new hybrid between two alien Helichrysum species (Compositae, Gnaphalieae) from NW Spain

  • Joan Prunera-Olivé
  • Mercè Galbany-Casals
  • Javier Cremades
  • Jaime FagúndezEmail author
Invasion Note


Hybridisation events between Invasive Alien Species can contribute to the acquisition of novel traits or a higher fitness through gene exchange and, in consequence, facilitate the adaptation to new environments and the colonization of new territories. Using morphological data and DNA sequences, we have identified and described a new hybrid between Helichrysum petiolare and H. foetidum. Both species are original to South Africa, but have become invasive in the coast of Galicia, NW Spain. The hybrids were raised in the laboratory from achenes collected from H. petiolare in isolated populations far from the core invaded area, but have so far not been found in the wild. Up to now, there is no evidence that the hybrids are themselves fertile. We consider that the risk assessment for these invasive species must take into account the potential crosses in natural areas, a phenomenon with implications in the species capacity to affect the invaded habitats.


Asteraceae Hybridisation Helichrysum Iberian Peninsula Invasive alien species ITS ndhF 



Authors thank Maria Luisa Gutiérrez and Fernando Castro for providing technical support during the laboratory process. Alejandro Gesto aided with the germination experiment. The Catalan government (‘Ajuts a grups consolidats’ 2014-SGR 514 and 2017-SGR1116) partly financed this work.

Supplementary material

10530_2019_1935_MOESM1_ESM.docx (14 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 13 kb)


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Systematics and Evolution of Vascular Plants (UAB)—Associated Unit to CSIC. Departament de Biologia Animal, Biologia Vegetal i Ecologia, Facultat de BiociènciesUniversitat Autònoma de BarcelonaBellaterraSpain
  2. 2.BioCost research group—Department of Biology, CICA & Facultade de CienciasUniversidade da CoruñaA CoruñaSpain

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