Patterns of introgression across an expanding hybrid zone: analysing historical patterns of gene flow using nonequilibrium approaches


  • Mitchell B. Cruzan

    Corresponding author
    1. Department Biology, Portland State University, Portland, OR 97207, USA
      Author for correspondence: Mitchell B. Cruzan Tel: +1 503 7258391 Fax: +1 503 7253888 Email:
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Author for correspondence: Mitchell B. Cruzan Tel: +1 503 7258391 Fax: +1 503 7253888 Email:


  • • Previous studies suggest that the hybrid zone between two taxa in the Piriqueta caroliniana complex in central Florida (south-eastern North America) has recently expanded with hybrids replacing parental genotypes across a broad region of the Florida peninsula.
  • • Here I use patterns of genetic disequilibria and levels of differentiation among populations to infer historical patterns of introgression across this broad hybrid zone.
  • • There were strong positive associations among taxon-specific alleles at the southern extent of hybridization, but disequilibria values were close to zero across the central and northern portions of the hybrid zone. Levels of among-population differentiation in the central portion of the hybrid zone were relatively low, and increased towards the northern extent of hybridization.
  • • The high levels of disequilibria are coincident with the sharp clines at the southern end of the hybrid zone, suggesting that there is a tension zone in this region that is maintained by selection against hybrids and dispersal from parental regions. The levels of disequilibria within populations and patterns of differentiation among populations are consistent with historical introgression and northward expansion of this hybrid zone, which may have slowed or ceased in recent generations.