Mechanisms of reproductive isolation during plant speciation are often unclear because distinct species often experience high levels of gene flow and hybridization. Adaptive radiations such as the Hawaiian silversword alliance (HSA) provide unique opportunities to study the interactions of selection, gene flow and isolating mechanisms during the speciation process. We examined patterns of phenotypic and genetic differentiation in Dubautia arborea and Dubautia ciliolata, two parapatric HSA taxa that show marked morphological divergence but evidence of weak molecular differentiation, in order to estimate genome-wide differentiation and gene flow patterns. We scored 166 amplified fragment length polymorphism markers in a set of 89 plants from two populations each of D. arborea and D. ciliolata and phenotypically D. arborea-like and D. ciliolata-like plants from a natural hybrid zone. Analyses of population subdivision showed low levels of differentiation between the two species (F ST = 0.089) and evidence that the phenotypically parental hybrid zone plants were largely of parental species rather than of hybrid origin. A Bayesian analysis of population ancestry identified a number of plants with admixed D. arborea and D. ciliolata ancestry, even in nonhybrid-zone populations. These results suggest that genome-wide low levels of differentiation between D. arborea and D. ciliolata are in part due to gene flow, and favour models of genic speciation and collective evolution in which gene flow has different effects on selected loci vs. nonselected genomic regions. We discuss ecological and climatic factors that may have shaped patterns of differentiation in this species complex.
- Adaptive radiation
- Gene flow
- Hawaiian silversword alliance
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics