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Clinal Differentiation and Putative Hybridization in a Contact Zone of Pinus ponderosa and P. arizonica (Pinaceae)

Bryan K. Epperson, Frank W. Telewski, Anne E. Plovanich-Jones and Jill E. Grimes
American Journal of Botany
Vol. 88, No. 6 (Jun., 2001), pp. 1052-1057
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2657087
Page Count: 6
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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.
Clinal Differentiation and Putative Hybridization in a Contact Zone of Pinus ponderosa and P. arizonica (Pinaceae)
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Abstract

The widely distributed Pinus subsection Ponderosae is a species complex that has a transition zone among taxa in the southwestern United States. In southern Arizona and New Mexico at least two recognized taxa, Pinus ponderosa var. scopulorum and Pinus arizonica or P. ponderosa var. arizonica, are known to coexist in close proximity. In this study, we report the existence of populations where the taxa are sympatric. One of the key characteristics distinguishing taxa is the number of needles per fascicle; P. ponderosa typically has three, P. arizonica has five. We examined the spatial distribution of needle-number types in a belt transect that covers a transition zone from nearly pure three-needle types at the top of Mount Lemmon to five-needle types downslope, in the Santa Catalina Mountains, Arizona. The spatial distribution is inconsistent with there being both free interbreeding among types and selective neutrality of types. Trees with intermediate types, having combinations of three, four, and five needles and/or mean numbers of needles between 3.0 and 5.0, are spatially concentrated in the middle of the transition zone. The spatial distribution supports the occurrence of hybridization and introgression, and this is consistent with reported crossabilities of the types. The results suggest that selection is acting, either on needle number per se or on other traits of the ecotype with which it may be in linkage disequilibrium, to maintain the observed steep clinical differentiation.

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