Submitted to: Weed Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 10, 2006
Publication Date: May 1, 2006
Citation: Gaskin, J.F. 2006. Clonal structure of invasive hoary cress (lepidium draba) infestations. Weed Science. 54(3):428-434. Interpretive Summary: Genetic markers were used on hoary cress plant invasions to determine mode of reproduction: clonal or sexual. Hoary cress exhibits a strong bias toward patch size increase from clonal reproduction rather than from seedling recruitment.
Technical Abstract: Hoary cress (Lepidium draba) is a perennial herbaceous weed that has invaded agricultural and natural areas of western North America. Invasions are often composed of dense patches, and it is unclear whether clonal growth via lateral rhizomes or seedling recruitment is the dominant method of patch expansion. To study the clonal structure of this invasive, six patches from three USA populations (194 ramets) were analyzed using AFLPs. Known siblings and clones were also included to insure sufficient variation for discrimination between clonal and non-clonal ramets. Patches had low genet/ramet ratios (mean G/N = 0.25) and low diversity levels (mean D = 0.49) compared to similar clonal studies. Single genets represented 55 - 85% of the ramets sampled in a patch, and the largest genet was 38m across. Hoary cress exhibits a strong bias toward patch size increase from clonal reproduction rather than from seedling recruitment. Results indicate that biological control methods that focus on reducing or eliminating seed production would do little to stop expansion of a patch. Despite the domination of a patch by one or a few large genets, other smaller genets are able to persist or are occasionally recruited into dense areas of a patch.