Differences in dietary composition and preference maintained despite gene flow across a woodrat hybrid zone

Daniel Nielsen & Marjorie Matocq
1. Hybridization can homogenize the gene pools of species that come into secondary contact. Alternatively, species differentiation can persist despite hybridization and interspecific gene flow. When hybridization occurs across sharp environmental transitions (i.e. ecotones), spatial variation in selection may reduce interspecific gene flow through pre- and post-zygotic isolating mechanisms. Ecotones, characterized by adjacent yet distinct biotic communities, provide natural laboratories in which to investigate how environmental selection influences the ecology and evolution of organisms. For...
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