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Ecological speciation in sympatric palms: 4. Demographic analyses support speciation of Howea in the face of high gene flow

Journal article
Authors A. S. T. Papadopulos
J. Igea
T. P. Smith
I. Hutton
W. J. Baker
Roger Butlin
V. Savolainen
Published in Evolution
Volume 73
Issue 9
Pages 1996-2002
ISSN 0014-3820
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of marine sciences
Pages 1996-2002
Language en
Keywords Coalescence, ddRAD, speciation, sympatry, multiple sequence alignment, divergence, evolution, coffee, island, Environmental Sciences & Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, Genetics &, Heredity
Subject categories Evolutionary Biology, Ecology


The idea that populations must be geographically isolated (allopatric) to evolve into separate species has persisted for a long time. It is now clear that new species can also diverge despite ongoing genetic exchange, but few accepted cases of speciation in sympatry have held up when scrutinized using modern approaches. Here, we examined evidence for speciation of the Howea palms of Lord Howe Island, Australia, in light of new genomic data. We used coalescence-based demographic models combined with double digest restriction site associated DNA sequencing of multiple individuals and provide support for previous claims by Savolainen et al. that speciation in Howea did occur in the face of gene flow.

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