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Narrow hybrid zones in spite of very low population differentiation in neutral markers in an island bird species complex [Journal of Evolutionary Biology]

Christophe Thébaud

par Frédéric Magné - publié le

Patterns of phenotypic and genic frequencies across hybrid zones provide insight into the origin and evolution of reproductive isolation. The Reunion grey white-eye, Zosterops borbonicus, exhibits parapatrically distributed plumage colour forms across the lowlands of the small volcanic island of Reunion (Mascarene archipelago). These forms meet and hybridise in regions that are natural barriers to dispersal (rivers, lava fields). Here, we investigated the relationship among patterns of differentiation at neutral genetic (microsatellite) markers, phenotypic traits (morphology and plumage colour) and niche characteristics across three independent hybrid zones. Patterns of phenotypic divergence revealed that these hybrid zones are among the narrowest ever documented in birds.(...)

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