Data from: Local adaptation within a hybrid species
Eroukhmanoff, Fabrice et al. (2013), Data from: Local adaptation within a hybrid species, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.7751k
Ecological divergence among populations may be strongly influenced by their genetic background. For instance, genetic admixture through introgressive hybridization or hybrid speciation is likely to affect the genetic variation and evolvability of phenotypic traits. We studied geographic variation in two beak dimensions and three other phenotypic traits of the Italian sparrow (Passer italiae), a young hybrid species formed through interbreeding between house sparrows (P. domesticus) and Spanish sparrows (P. hispaniolensis). We found that beak morphology was strongly influenced by precipitation regimes and that it appeared to be the target of divergent selection within Italian sparrows. Interestingly, however, the degree of parental genetic contribution in the hybrid species had no effect on phenotypic beak variation. Moreover, beak height divergence may mediate genetic differentiation between populations, consistent with isolation-by-adaptation within this hybrid species. The study illustrates how hybrid species may be relatively unconstrained by their admixed genetic background, allowing them to adapt rapidly to environmental variation.