Sympatric speciation

To: Birding Aus <>
Subject: Sympatric speciation
From: L&L Knight <>
Date: Fri, 18 Dec 2009 11:16:05 +1000
People with an interest in the subject of sympatric speciation might like to have a look at a model discussed in today's edition of Science.

On the Origin of Species by Natural and Sexual Selection
G. Sander van Doorn, Pim Edelaar, Franz J. Weissing
Science 18 December 2009: Vol. 326. no. 5960, pp. 1704 - 1707 DOI: 10.1126/science.1181661

"Ecological speciation is considered an adaptive response to selection for local adaptation. However, besides suitable ecological conditions, the process requires assortative mating to protect the nascent species from homogenization by gene flow. By means of a simple model, we demonstrate that disruptive ecological selection favors the evolution of sexual preferences for ornaments that signal local adaptation. Such preferences induce assortative mating with respect to ecological characters and enhance the strength of disruptive selection. Natural and sexual selection thus work in concert to achieve local adaptation and reproductive isolation, even in the presence of substantial gene flow. The resulting speciation process ensues without the divergence of mating preferences, avoiding problems that have plagued previous models of speciation by sexual selection."

There is an associated summary article by Judith E. Mank "Sexual Selection and Darwin's Mystery of Mysteries" Science 18 December 2009: Vol. 326. no. 5960, pp. 1639 - 1640 DOI: 10.1126/science. 1184680

Regards, Laurie.


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