Title

Incipient ecological speciation between successional varieties of a dominant tree involves intrinsic postzygotic isolating barriers

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2017

Publication Title

Ecology and Evolution

Volume

7

Issue

8

First page number:

2501

Last page number:

2512

Abstract

Whereas disruptive selection imposed by heterogeneous environments can lead to the evolution of extrinsic isolating barriers between diverging populations, the evolution of intrinsic postzygotic barriers through divergent selection is less certain. Long-lived species such as trees may be especially slow to evolve intrinsic isolating barriers. We examined postpollination reproductive isolating barriers below the species boundary, in an ephemeral hybrid zone between two successional varieties of the landscape-dominant Hawaiian tree, Metrosideros polymorpha, on volcanically active Hawai'i Island. These archipelago-wide sympatric varieties show the weakest neutral genetic divergence of any taxon pair on Hawai'i Island but significant morphological and ecological differentiation consistent with adaptation to new and old lava flows. Cross-fertility between varieties was high and included heterosis of F1 hybrids at the seed germination stage, consistent with a substantial genetic load apparent within varieties through low self-fertility and a lack of self-pollen discrimination. However, a partial, but significant, barrier was observed in the form of reduced female and male fertility of hybrids, especially backcross hybrids, consistent with the accumulation of genetic incompatibilities between varieties. These results suggest that partial intrinsic postzygotic barriers can arise through disruptive selection acting on large, hybridizing populations of a long-lived species. © 2017 The Authors. Ecology and Evolution published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Language

english

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