Journal of Ornithology

, Volume 147, Issue 3, pp 504–506 | Cite as

Fitness consequences of hybridization between house sparrows (Passer domesticus) and tree sparrows (P. montanus)

  • Erling Johan Solberg
  • Henrik Jensen
  • Thor Harald Ringsby
  • Bernt-Erik Sæther
Short Note

Abstract

Gene transfer may occur following hybridization between closely related species if hybrids are viable and able to breed with individuals of one or both of the parental species. House (Passer domesticus) and tree sparrows (P. montanus) occasionally hybridize and produce viable offspring. Previously, we concluded that male tree × house sparrow hybrids are most probably fertile based on the observation of a male F1 hybrid feeding the nestlings with a female house sparrow in two consecutive clutches. However, recent DNA analyses based on blood samples revealed that all nestlings (4) in the first clutch were sired by a neighbouring house sparrow male, whereas nestlings in the second clutch (2) were not blood sampled and most probably died before fledging. This indicates that extensive extra-pair fertilization confounded our previous conclusion, and indicates that social partnership and attending behaviour can be imprecise measures of paternity.

Keywords

DNA-typing Extra-pair fertilizations Hybrids Passerdomesticus Passermontanus 

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Copyright information

© Dt. Ornithologen-Gesellschaft e.V. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erling Johan Solberg
    • 1
  • Henrik Jensen
    • 2
  • Thor Harald Ringsby
    • 2
  • Bernt-Erik Sæther
    • 2
  1. 1.Norwegian Institute for Nature ResearchTrondheimNorway
  2. 2.Department of BiologyNorwegian University of Science and TechnologyTrondheimNorway

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