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  • John Confer,
  • Cody Porter,
  • Kyle Aldinger,
  • Ronald Canterbury,
  • Jeffery Larkin,
  • Darin McNeil
John Confer
Ithaca College

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Cody Porter
University of Wyoming
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Kyle Aldinger
West Virginia University
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Ronald Canterbury
University of Cincinnati
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Jeffery Larkin
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
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Darin McNeil
Pennsylvania State University
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Extensive range loss for the Golden-winged Warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera) has occurred in areas of intrusion by the Blue-winged Warbler (V. cyanoptera) potentially related to their close genetic relationship. We compiled data on social pairing from nine studies for 2,679 resident Vermivora to assess evolutionary divergence. Hybridization between pure phenotypes occurred with 1.2% of resident males for sympatric populations. Pairing success rates for Golden-winged Warblers was 83% and for Blue-winged Warblers was 77%. Pairing success for the hybrid Brewster’s Warbler was significantly lower from both species at 54%, showing sexual selection against hybrids. Backcross frequencies for Golden-winged Warblers at 4.9% was significantly higher than for Blue-winged Warblers at 1.7%. More frequent backcrossing by Golden-winged Warblers, which produces hybrid phenotypes, may contribute to the replacement of Golden-winged by Blue-winged Warblers. Reproductive isolation due to behavioral isolation plus sexual selection against hybrids was 0.966. Our analyses suggest that plumage differences are the main driving force for this strong isolation with reduced hybrid fitness contributing to a lesser degree. The major impact of plumage differences to reproductive isolation is compatible with genomic analyses (Toews et al. 2016), which showed the largest genetic difference between these phenotypes occurred with plumage genes. These phenotypes have maintained morphological, behavioral, and ecological differences during two centuries of hybridization. Our estimate of reproductive isolation supports recognition of these phenotypes as two species. The decline and extirpation of the Golden-winged Warbler in almost all areas of recent sympatry suggest that continued coexistence of both species will require eco-geographic isolation.
22 Feb 2020Submitted to Ecology and Evolution
25 Apr 2020Submission Checks Completed
25 Apr 2020Assigned to Editor
29 Apr 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned
17 May 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
21 May 2020Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
07 Jul 20201st Revision Received
08 Jul 2020Submission Checks Completed
08 Jul 2020Assigned to Editor
08 Jul 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
13 Jul 2020Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
28 Jul 20202nd Revision Received
29 Jul 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
29 Jul 2020Submission Checks Completed
29 Jul 2020Assigned to Editor
03 Aug 2020Editorial Decision: Accept
24 Sep 2020Published in Ecology and Evolution. 10.1002/ece3.6717