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Analysis of individual year-classes of a marine fish reveals little evidence of first-generation hybrids between cryptic species in sympatric regions
Burford, M.O.; Bernardi, G.; Carr, M.H. (2011). Analysis of individual year-classes of a marine fish reveals little evidence of first-generation hybrids between cryptic species in sympatric regions. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 158(8): 1815-1827. hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00227-011-1694-7
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Burford, M.O.
  • Bernardi, G.
  • Carr, M.H.

Abstract
    As settled juveniles and adults, blue rockfish (Sebastes mystinus) are nonmigratory inhabitants of kelp and rocky reef habitats along the California coast, USA, and prior to settlement, they possess a pelagic larval and juvenile stage lasting 3–5 months. A previous study of adults revealed two cryptic species within S. mystinus and evidence of reproductive isolation in a region where both cryptic adults co-occur. Given this pattern of reproductive isolation, we investigated the degree of hybridization or introgression in individual year-classes shortly after juvenile settlement in two different years (2001 and 2002). Using microsatellite markers, we found little indication of hybridization in new juvenile year-classes despite an adult population that comprised both cryptic species. However, we found an average of two percent of hybrid or introgressed individuals in regions with a low frequency of one of the two species. Therefore, while the lack of hybrids or introgression supports the hypothesis of reproductive isolation between the cryptic species within S. mystinus, the age-structured analysis also revealed a spatial pattern of low-frequency differences in the number of introgressed individuals. These results suggest that reproductive barriers may breakdown when one of the two species predominates the regional adult gene pool.

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