Habitat differentiation in a narrow hybrid zone between diploid and tetraploid Anthoxanthum alpinum



Populations of diploid and autotetraploid Anthoxanthum alpinum A. & D. Löve formed a narrow hybrid zone in a study area in the Swiss Prealps. Detailed vegetation analyses were performed along transects in several contact zones between the two cytotypes. The vegetation differed according to the position in the hybrid zone. When considering the hybrid zone as a whole, and for one transect that was analysed in detail, there was strong evidence for habitat segregation between the cytotypes. Vegetation transitions, habitat preference and segregation of the two cytotypes differed according to location in the hybrid zone. The origin and dynamics of the hybrid zone are discussed.