Hybridization and introgression can have important evolutionary consequences for speciation, especially during early stages of secondary contact when reproductive barriers may be weak. Few studies, however, have quantified dynamics of hybridization and introgression in systems in which recent natural dispersal across a geographic barrier resulted in secondary contact. We investigated patterns of hybridization and introgression between two Myzomela honeyeaters (M. tristrami and M. cardinalis) that recently achieved secondary contact on Makira in the Solomon Islands. Hybridization in this system was hypothesized to be a byproduct of conspecific mate scarcity during early stages of colonization. Our research, however, provides evidence of ongoing hybridization more than a century after secondary contact. Mitochondrial sequencing revealed strongly asymmetric reproductive isolation that is most likely driven by postzygotic incompatibilities rather than prezygotic behavioral barriers. Nuclear introgression was observed from the native species (M. tristrami) to the colonizing species (M. cardinalis). Nuclear introgression in the reverse direction is almost exclusively limited to birds that are phenotypically M. tristrami but possess M. cardinalis mitochondrial haplotypes, consistent with introgression of plumage-related alleles into the genomic background of M. cardinalis. These results provide unique insight into the dynamics and consequences of hybridization and introgression during early stages of secondary contact.
- Reproductive isolation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)