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Hybridization and resulting introgression can play both a destructive and a creative role in the evolution of diversity. Thus, characterizing when and where introgression is most likely to occur can help us understand the causes of diversification dynamics. Here, we examine the prevalence of and variation in introgression using phylogenomic data from a large (1300+ species), geographically widespread avian group, the suboscine birds. We first examine patterns of gene tree discordance across the geographic distribution of the entire clade. We then evaluate the signal of introgression in a subset of 206 species triads using Patterson's D-statistic and test for associations between introgression signal and evolutionary, geographic, and environmental variables. We find that gene tree discordance varies across lineages and geographic regions. The signal of introgression is highest in cases where species occur in close geographic proximity and in regions with more dynamic climates since the Pleistocene. Our results highlight the potential of phylogenomic datasets for examining broad patterns of hybridization and suggest that the degree of introgression between diverging lineages might be predictable based on the setting in which they occur.

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Evolution Letters

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