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  1. Abstract

    Despite substantial interest in coevolution's role in diversification, examples of coevolution contributing to speciation have been elusive. Here, we build upon past studies that have shown both coevolution between South Hills crossbills and lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta), and high levels of reproductive isolation between South Hills crossbills and other ecotypes in the North American red crossbill (Loxia curvirostra) complex. We used genotyping by sequencing to generate population genomic data and applied phylogenetic and population genetic analyses to characterize the genetic structure within and among nine of the ecotypes. Although genome‐wide divergence was slight between ecotypes (FST = 0.011–0.035), we found evidence of relative genetic differentiation (as measured byFST) between and genetic cohesiveness within many of them. As expected for nomadic and opportunistic breeders, we detected no evidence of isolation by distance. The one sedentary ecotype, the South Hills crossbill, was genetically most distinct because of elevated divergence at a small number of loci rather than pronounced overall genome‐wide divergence. These findings suggest that mechanisms related to recent local coevolution between South Hills crossbills and lodgepole pine (e.g. strong resource‐based density dependence limiting gene flow) have been associated with genome divergence in the face of gene flow. Our results further characterize a striking example of coevolution driving speciation within perhaps as little as 6000 years.

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