The Hidden Heritage of Pinyon Pines

Pinyon pine hybridization is widely acknowledged, but the frequency of and contributors to such interspecific mating remain largely unstudied. Pinus quadrifolia has three to four needles per fascicle, suggesting it is a result of hybridization between the five-needled P. juarezensis and the single-needled P. monophyla. In this study Ryan Buck and colleagues address the taxonomic validity of P. juarezensis, the hybrid origin of P. quadrifolia, and the presence of hybridization and intermediate morphology as a result of interspecific hybridization in this complex. The authors found that the five-needled pinyons did not differ genetically from the four-needled P. quadrifolia, reducing P....

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