Analysis of a hybrid zone between subspecies of the tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum) in central New Mexico, USA

T. R. Jones, James Collins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

We analyzed patterns of variation in polymorphic loci across a contact zone between two subspecies of tiger salamander, Ambystoma tigrinum nebulosum and A. t. mavortium, in west‐central New Mexico. We found no fixed differences between A. t. mavortium and A. t. nebulosum. Allele frequencies across the contact zone did not vary concordantly among loci, but frequencies at two loci varied with elevation. Gene flow extends through the contact zone from A. t. mavortium into A. t. nebulosum, but not conversely. A. t. mavortium and A. t. nebulosum have no obvious impediments to gene flow within this contact zone, but some populations differ in time of reproduction. The contact zone comprises a variety of habitats, approximating typical A. t. mavortium or A. t. nebulosum habitats. There is an irregular pattern of differences in allelic frequencies among populations that covaries with habitats and is consistent with a model of a mosaic contact zone. Our results contrast with those of a study along the Front Range in Colorado, where allelic composition at some loci changed abruptly across a narrow zone of contact. These contrasting results suggest that the dynamics shaping the contact zone between the same taxa may differ. Absence of a similar pattern of genetic differentiation between A. t. mavortium and A. t. nebulosum in New Mexico and in Colorado suggests a complex set of evolutionary interactions along the eastern front of the Rocky Mountain axis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)375-402
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Evolutionary Biology
Volume5
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1992

Keywords

  • Ambystoma tigrinum
  • Mosaic hybridization
  • allozymes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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