Shawn on hybridization in sapsuckers

Research from Shawn Billerman’s dissertation on sapsucker hybridization was recently published in Molecular Ecology. In the paper, Shawn and co-authors Carla Cicero, Rauri Bowie, and Matt Carling show how the Red-naped x Red-breasted sapsucker hybrid zone has shifted over time using specimens collected over a 40-year period, with high levels of introgression across the zone. Despite extensive hybridization, they also find evidence for some reproductive isolation, possibly through mate choice.

Link to paper: Phenotypic and genetic introgression across a moving woodpecker hybrid zone.

photo credit: Tom Lewis/Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology (ML132374751 )

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