Hybrid zones and adaptation

Hybrid zones provide natural evolutionary laboratories for studying adaptation and gene flow. Populations in hybrid zones are expected to have higher levels of genetic variation than intraspecific populations, and they may have the genetic capacity to evolve new adaptations or new trait combinations. However, hybrid genotypes may also experience some genetic incompatibilities. We have used genetic and genomic tools to investigate the genetic structure and evolutionary dynamics of two spruce hybrid zones in British Columbia.

  1. Genetic mechanisms of local adaptation in the Sitka-white spruce hybrid zone
  2. Genetic structure and gene flow in natural and managed forest tree populations of the interior spruce hybrid zone
  3. Exploring genome porosity in the interior spruce hybrid zone