Data from: Integrating phylogeography and paleoecology to investigate the origin and dynamics of hybrid zones: insights from two widespread North American firs
Cinget, Benjamin; de Lafontaine, Guillaume; Gérardi, Sébastien; Bousquet, Jean (2015), Data from: Integrating phylogeography and paleoecology to investigate the origin and dynamics of hybrid zones: insights from two widespread North American firs, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.nk374
Secondary contact between closely related taxa routinely occurs during postglacial migrations. After initial contact, the location of hybrid zones may shift geographically or remain spatially stable over time in response to various selective pressures or neutral processes. Studying the extent and direction of introgression using markers having contrasted levels of gene flow can help unravel the historical dynamics of hybrid zones. Thanks to their contrasted maternal and paternal inheritance, resulting in different levels of gene flow for mitochondrial and chloroplast DNA (mtDNA and cpDNA), the Pinaceae stand out as a relevant biological model for this purpose. The objective of the study was to assess whether the hybrid zone between Abies balsamea and Abies lasiocarpa (two largely distributed Pinaceae) has moved or remained stable over time by analysing the distribution of cytoplasmic DNA variation as well as published palaeobotanical data. Interspecific gene flow was higher for cpDNA than mtDNA markers; hence, the geographic distribution of mitotypes was more congruent with species distributions than chlorotypes. This genetic signature was contrary to expectations under a moving hybrid zone scenario, as well as empirical observations in other conifers. Genetic evidence for this rare instance of stable hybrid zone was corroborated by the colonization chronology derived from published fossil data, indicating that the two fir species initially came into contact in the area corresponding to the current sympatric zone 11 kyr ago. While an explanatory analysis suggested the putative influence of various environmental factors on the relative abundance of cytoplasmic genome combinations, further research appears necessary to assess the role of both demographic history and selective factors in driving the dynamics of hybrid zones.
Western North America (Canada and USA)