Hzar: Hybrid zone analysis using an R software package

Elizabeth P. Derryberry, Tulane University
Graham E. Derryberry, Louisiana State University
James M. Maley, Louisiana State University
Robb T. Brumfield, Louisiana State University


We present a new software package (hzar) that provides functions for fitting molecular genetic and morphological data from hybrid zones to classic equilibrium cline models using the Metropolis-Hastings Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) algorithm. The software applies likelihood functions appropriate for different types of data, including diploid and haploid genetic markers and quantitative morphological traits. The modular design allows flexibility in fitting cline models of varying complexity. To facilitate hypothesis testing, an autofit function is included that allows automated model selection from a set of nested cline models. Cline parameter values, such as cline centre and cline width, are estimated and may be compared statistically across clines. The package is written in the R language and is available through the Comprehensive R Archive Network (CRAN; http://cran.r-project.org/). Here, we describe hzar and demonstrate its use with a sample data set from a well-studied hybrid zone in western Panama between white-collared (Manacus candei) and golden-collared manakins (M. vitellinus). Comparisons of our results with previously published results for this hybrid zone validate the hzar software. We extend analysis of this hybrid zone by fitting additional models to molecular data where appropriate. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.