Dispersal and selection mediate hybridization between a native and invasive species

Ryan P. Kovach, Clint C. Muhlfeld, Matthew C. Boyer, Winsor H. Lowe, Fred W. Allendorf, Gordon Luikart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Hybridization between native and non-native species has serious biological consequences, but our understanding of how dispersal and selection interact to influence invasive hybridization is limited. Here, we document the spread of genetic introgression between a native (Oncorhynchus clarkii) and invasive (Oncorhynchus mykiss) trout, and identify the mechanisms influencing genetic admixture. In two populations inhabiting contrasting environments, non-native admixture increased rapidly from 1984 to 2007 and was driven by surprisingly consistent processes. Individual admixture was related to two phenotypic traits associated with fitness: size at spawning and age of juvenile emigration. Fish with higher non-native admixture were larger and tended to emigrate at a younger age—relationships that are expected to confer fitness advantages to hybrid individuals. However, strong selection against non-native admixture was evident across streams and cohorts (mean selection coefficient against genotypes with non-native alleles (s) ¼ 0.60; s.e. ¼ 0.10). Nevertheless, hybridization was promoted in both streams by the continuous immigration of individuals with high levels of non-native admixture from other hybrid source populations. Thus, antagonistic relationships between dispersal and selection are mediating invasive hybridization between these fish, emphasizing that data on dispersal and natural selection are needed to fully understand the dynamics of introgression between native and non-native species.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20142454
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Issue number1799
StatePublished - Nov 10 2015


  • Dispersal
  • Fitness
  • Hybridization
  • Introgression
  • Invasive species
  • Selection


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