Astrid V. Stronen, Nathalie Tessier, Hélène Jolicoeur, Paul C. Paquet, Michel Hénault, Mario Villemure, Brent R. Patterson, Tim Sallows, Gloria Goulet and François-Joseph Lapointe Canid hybridization: contemporary evolution in human-modified landscapes Ecology and Evolution 2
Formerly allopatric species appear especially susceptible to hybridization, and we evaluated levels of wolf-coyote hybridization in regions where coyotes were present (the Canadian Prairies) and absent historically (Québec in eastern Canada). On the Prairies, 6.3% of coyotes and 9.2% of wolves had genetic profiles suggesting wolf-coyote hybridization, whereas 12.6% of coyotes and 37.4% of wolves in Québec had profiles indicating hybrid origin. Our results suggest that hybridization is more frequent in historically allopatric populations, and range shifts, now expected across taxa following climate change and other human influence on the environment, might therefore promote contemporary evolution by hybridization.
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