Hybridization is pivotal in framing ideas about species concepts and has the potential to produce novel genotypes that may serve as starting points for new evolutionary trajectories. Presently, Nelson’s Sharp-tailed Sparrows (Ammodramus nelsoni subvirgatus) and Saltmarsh Sharp-tailed Sparrows (A. caudacutus caudacutus) are in contact in salt marshes of Maine, New Hampshire, and northern Massachusetts. These two species hybridize, but the extent and direction of introgression has not been determined. We assessed morphological and genetic variation of 123 sharp-tailed sparrows from 5 salt marshes in New England. We used six morphological variables, including a plumage-scoring index, and five mic-rosatellite primers to assess the extent of introgression and to determine whether there was concordance between phenotypic and genotypic variation. We identified apparent hybrids and each of the two sharp-tailed sparrow species using a plumagescoring index. In general, we found that hybrids were more similar morphologically and genetically to Saltmarsh Sharp-tailed Sparrows. The alleles of hybrids were 62% Saltmarsh and 38% Nelson’s Sharp-tailed Sparrows, supporting the asymmetrical hybridization hypothesis.
Concordancia entre Marcadores Morfológicos y Moleculares al Evaluar la Hibridación entre Ammodramus nelsoni subvirgatus y A. caudacutus caudacutus en Nueva Inglaterra