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Data from: Highly variable reproductive isolation among pairs of Catostomus species

Cite this dataset

Mandeville, Elizabeth G.; Parchman, Thomas L.; McDonald, David B.; Buerkle, C. Alex (2015). Data from: Highly variable reproductive isolation among pairs of Catostomus species [Dataset]. Dryad.


Hybridization between diverged taxa tests the strength of reproductive isolation and can therefore reveal mechanisms of reproductive isolation. However, it remains unclear how consistent reproductive isolation is across species' ranges and to what extent reproductive isolation might remain polymorphic as species diverge. To address these questions, we compared outcomes of hybridization across species pairs of Catostomus fishes in three rivers in the Upper Colorado River basin, where an introduced species, C. commersoni, hybridizes with at least two native species, C. discobolus and C. latipinnis. We observed substantial heterogeneity in outcomes of hybridization, both between species pairs and across geographically separate rivers within each species pair. We also observed hybridization of additional related species with our focal species, suggesting that reproductive isolation in this group involves interactions of multiple evolutionary and ecological factors. These findings suggest that a better understanding of the determinants of variation in reproductive isolation is needed and that studies of reproductive isolation in hybrids should consider how the dynamics and mechanisms of reproductive isolation vary over ecological space and over evolutionary time. Our results also have implications for the conservation and management of native catostomids in the Colorado River basin. Heterogeneity in outcomes of hybridization suggests that the threat posed by hybridization and genetic introgression to the persistence of native species probably varies with extent of reproductive isolation, both across rivers and across species pairs.

Usage notes


Upper Colorado River Basin