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Narrow Hybrid Zone between Two Subspecies of Big Sagebruh (Artemisia tridentata: Asteraceae). II. Selection Gradients and Hybrid Fitness

John H. Graham, D. Carl Freeman and E. Durant McArthur
American Journal of Botany
Vol. 82, No. 6 (Jun., 1995), pp. 709-716
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2445609
Page Count: 8
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Narrow Hybrid Zone between Two Subspecies of Big Sagebruh (Artemisia tridentata: Asteraceae). II. Selection Gradients and Hybrid Fitness
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Abstract

The dynamic equilibrium hypothesis proposes that hybrid zones are stabilized by a balance between dispersal and selection against hybrids. A key prediction of this hypothesis is that hybrids should have lower fitness than either parental taxon, regardless of habitat. Hybrid big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata ssp. tridentata x ssp. vaseyana) in two narrow hybrid zones do show greatly decreased recruitment. Hybrids in one zone also show increased browsing by grasshoppers, while those in the other zone have increased numbers of aphids. Overall herbivore loads, however, are not greater on the hybrids than on the parental subspecies. Browsing by mule deer is greatest on ssp. vaseyana in both hybrid zones. Incidence of galls is also greatest on ssp. vaseyana in one hybrid zone. Moreover, browsing by Artemisia weevils is greatest on ssp. tridentata in one hybrid zone. Hybrids produce more flowers than either ssp. tridentata or ssp. vaseyana, while seed production rates of hybrids do not differ from those of the parental taxa. Finally, hybrid seeds germinate as well as those of ssp. tridentata and better than those of ssp. vaseyana. Thus, our data do not support the dynamic equilibrium hypothesis.

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