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Trojan Horse attack on native lupine
Date:8/13/2010

s. "There are 15 really good populations left," says Pardini, "and we're monitoring 13 of them."

"So basically we're monitoring the entire species," says Knight. "And we're getting a good feel for population-to-population variation and to what degree mice and other factors are responsible for it."

But it's not all good news.

"This article focused on the threat of seed consumption," says Pardini. "But Tidestrom's lupine is also threatened by hybridization with silver dune lupine. Historically the two lupines grew in separate locations, but people brought the silver dune lupine to the Monterey Peninsula as an ornamental plant. The two species produce fertile hybrids, which are now competing with Tidestrom's lupine.

In 2008, Knight and Pardini received National Science Foundation funding to study additional populations of Tidestrom's lupine and to incorporate hybridization risk into models of its population viability.

Life, for the Tidestrom's lupine, it would seem, is one cliffhanger after another.

Unfortunately, that is true for many plants. According to the World Conservation Union, one out of every four plant species on the planet is currently under the threat of extinction.


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Contact: Diana Lutz
dlutz@wustl.edu
314-935-5272
Washington University in St. Louis
Source:Eurekalert  

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