Published May 18, 2023 | Version v1
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Data from: An island endemic born out of hybridization between introduced lineages

  • 1. Louisiana State University


Humans have profoundly impacted the distribution of plant and animal species over thousands of years. The most direct example of these effects is human-mediated movement of individuals, either through translocation of individuals within their range or the introduction of species to new habitats. While human involvement may be suspected in species with obvious range disjunctions, it can be difficult to detect natural versus human-mediated dispersal events for populations at the edge of a species' range, and this uncertainty muddles how we understand the evolutionary history of populations and broad biogeographic patterns. Studies combining genetic data with archeological, linguistic, and historical evidence have confirmed prehistoric examples of human-mediated dispersal; however, it is unclear whether these methods can disentangle recent dispersal events, such as species translocated by European colonizers during the past 500 years. We use genomic DNA from historical specimens and historical records to evaluate three hypotheses regarding the timing and origin of Northern Bobwhites (Colinus virginianus) in Cuba, whose status as an endemic or introduced population has long been debated. We discovered that bobwhites from southern Mexico arrived in Cuba between the 12th and 16th centuries, followed by the subsequent introduction of bobwhites from the southeastern USA to Cuba between the 18th and 20th centuries. These dates suggest the introduction of bobwhites to Cuba was human-mediated and concomitant with Spanish colonial shipping routes between Veracruz, Mexico and Havana, Cuba during this period. Our results identify endemic Cuban bobwhites as a genetically distinct population born of hybridization between divergent introduced lineages.


Funding provided by: National Science Foundation
Crossref Funder Registry ID:
Award Number: DEB-1655624

Funding provided by: National Science Foundation
Crossref Funder Registry ID:
Award Number: DBI-2109361



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Is derived from
10.5061/dryad.tqjq2bw31 (DOI)