If we mixed two population of the same species into the same environment and then they reproduce together, can we say it's hybridisation?

The wikipedia definition is the following:

Hybridisation (biology) the process of combining different varieties of organisms to create a hybrid


1 Answer 1


The question boils down to the definition of species and hybridization.

In general, we use the term hybridization to talk about mating between individuals from different species but really the term species does not mean as much as most people would think it does. Some people may use the term hybridization to talk about mating between lineages that are usually considered belonging to the asme species.

Have a look at How could humans have interbred with Neanderthals if we're a different species? for more information on the problems of definition of species.


Here are terms and concepts that are related and may help you

  • gene flow
  • introgression
  • interspecific mating
  • secondary contact
  • partial reproductive isolation
  • $\begingroup$ What do yo call a "Darwinian definition of species"? Do you refer to the so-called "biological definition of species" (which is based on reproductive isolation). Using the biological definition of species, you cannot hybridize different species (by definition). $\endgroup$
    – Remi.b
    Mar 30, 2016 at 19:33
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for your answer, I know the definition of species is only arbitrary for the purpose of our mind. If we use a Darwinian definition of species so basically a heritable morph then hybridation because interesting. $\endgroup$ Mar 30, 2016 at 20:31
  • $\begingroup$ But if we refuse loosing variation and assume every ecotype is a species then we speak of hybridization between ecotype but is it really relevant ? Indeed, when hybridization is used too wide it then loose it's signification... The whole concept of hybridization is based on the idea of two variety (or species or what ever you want to call it) that breed together and produce a intermiedate morph, no ? $\endgroup$ Mar 30, 2016 at 20:31
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    $\begingroup$ Haha.... I am revising a text and this person use hybridization to speak of the reproduction between the natural population and the reintroduce population. My question was is hybridization really the good term, I would have use increase gene flow or something like that to be more precise. But since, hybridization can be applied to almost anythings I guess the use of the words is allright. $\endgroup$ Mar 30, 2016 at 21:00
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    $\begingroup$ You might also consider whether the term 'introgression' is appropriate in this instance. Like 'hybridization' itself though, 'introgression' is used in different ways... $\endgroup$ Mar 30, 2016 at 21:14

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