Hybridization frequently occurs in plant species. With repeated backcross, the introgression may influence evolutionary trajectories through the entry of foreign genes. However, the genetic admixture via hybridization events is often confused with the ancestral polymorphism, especially in closely related species that have experienced similar evolutionary events. In Taiwan, two independent-originated endemic snakebark maples have contrasted postglacial range expansion routes: northward and upward expansion in Acer caudatifolium and downward expansion in A. morrisonense. The range expansion causes the current parapatric distribution, increasing the possibility of introgression. This study elucidates how their genetic variation reflects introgression and historical demography. With 17 EST-SSR markers among the intensely sampled 657 individuals, we con-firmed that the genetic admixture between species mainly was attributed to recent introgression instead of common ancestral polymorphism. The secondary contact scenario inferred by approximate Bayesian computation suggested that A. morrisonense received more genetic variations from A. caudatifolium. Introgression occurred in colonized Taiwan around the early Last Glacial Period. Furthermore, the demography of A. caudatifolium was more severely affected by introgression than A. morrisonense, especially in the wavefront populations with high altitude range expansion, implying an altitude-related adaptive introgression. In contrast, A. morrisonense exhibited ubiquitous introgression independent of postglacial expansion, suggesting that introgression in A. morrisonense was neutral. In terms of different genetic consequences, introgression had different demographic impacts on species with different altitude expansion directions even under the same climate-change conditions within an island.
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