Landscape resistance constrains hybridization across contact zones in a reproductively and morphologically polymorphic salamander
UNIVERSAL IDENTIFIER: http://hdl.handle.net/11093/2703
EDITED VERSION: http://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-88349-7
UNESCO SUBJECT: 2401 Biología Animal (Zoología) ; 2417 Biología Vegetal (Botánica) ; 2401.08 Genética Animal
DOCUMENT TYPE: article
Explicitly accounting for phenotypic differentiation together with environmental heterogeneity is crucial to understand the evolutionary dynamics in hybrid zones. Species showing intra-specific variation in phenotypic traits that meet across environmentally heterogeneous regions constitute excellent natural settings to study the role of phenotypic differentiation and environmental factors in shaping the spatial extent and patterns of admixture in hybrid zones. We studied three environmentally distinct contact zones where morphologically and reproductively divergent subspecies of Salamandra salamandra co-occur: the pueriparous S. s. bernardezi that is mostly parapatric to its three larviparous subspecies neighbours. We used a landscape genetics framework to: (i) characterise the spatial location and extent of each contact zone; (ii) assess patterns of introgression and hybridization between subspecies pairs; and (iii) examine the role of environmental heterogeneity in the evolutionary dynamics of hybrid zones. We found high levels of introgression between parity modes, and between distinct phenotypes, thus demonstrating the evolution to pueriparity alone or morphological differentiation do not lead to reproductive isolation between these highly divergent S. salamandra morphotypes. However, we detected substantial variation in patterns of hybridization across contact zones, being lower in the contact zone located on a topographically complex area. We highlight the importance of accounting for spatial environmental heterogeneity when studying evolutionary dynamics of hybrid zones
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