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When is sympatric speciation truly adaptive? An analysis of the joint evolution of resource utilization and assortative mating

Ripa, Jörgen LU (2009) In Evolutionary Ecology 23(1). p.31-52
Abstract
The plausibility of sympatric speciation has long been debated among evolutionary ecologists. The process necessarily involves two key elements: the stable coexistence of at least two ecologically distinct types and the emergence of reproductive isolation. Recent theoretical studies within the theoretical framework of adaptive dynamics have shown how both these processes can be driven by natural selection. In the standard scenario, a population first evolves to an evolutionary branching point, next, disruptive selection promotes ecological diversification within the population, and, finally, the fitness disadvantage of intermediate types induces a selection pressure for assortative mating behaviour, which leads to reproductive isolation... (More)
The plausibility of sympatric speciation has long been debated among evolutionary ecologists. The process necessarily involves two key elements: the stable coexistence of at least two ecologically distinct types and the emergence of reproductive isolation. Recent theoretical studies within the theoretical framework of adaptive dynamics have shown how both these processes can be driven by natural selection. In the standard scenario, a population first evolves to an evolutionary branching point, next, disruptive selection promotes ecological diversification within the population, and, finally, the fitness disadvantage of intermediate types induces a selection pressure for assortative mating behaviour, which leads to reproductive isolation and full speciation. However, the full speciation process has been mostly studied through computer simulations and only analysed in part. Here I present a complete analysis of the whole speciation process by allowing for the simultaneous evolution of the branching ecological trait as well as a continuous trait controlling mating behaviour. I show how the joint evolution can be understood in terms of a gradient landscape, where the plausibility of different evolutionary paths can be evaluated graphically. I find sympatric speciation unlikely for scenarios with a continuous, unimodal, distribution of resources. Rather, ecological settings where the fitness inferiority of intermediate types is preserved during the ecological branching are more likely to provide opportunity for adaptive, sympatric speciation. Such scenarios include speciation due to predator avoidance or specialization on discrete resources. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Adaptive dynamics, Sympatric speciation, Assortative mating
in
Evolutionary Ecology
volume
23
issue
1
pages
31 - 52
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • wos:000262504800004
  • scopus:58349112722
ISSN
1573-8477
DOI
10.1007/s10682-008-9267-z
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
5d31a8a5-db23-43ac-88b5-3f2f2e52a6a1 (old id 1312673)
date added to LUP
2009-03-13 12:45:10
date last changed
2017-06-18 04:01:55
@article{5d31a8a5-db23-43ac-88b5-3f2f2e52a6a1,
  abstract     = {The plausibility of sympatric speciation has long been debated among evolutionary ecologists. The process necessarily involves two key elements: the stable coexistence of at least two ecologically distinct types and the emergence of reproductive isolation. Recent theoretical studies within the theoretical framework of adaptive dynamics have shown how both these processes can be driven by natural selection. In the standard scenario, a population first evolves to an evolutionary branching point, next, disruptive selection promotes ecological diversification within the population, and, finally, the fitness disadvantage of intermediate types induces a selection pressure for assortative mating behaviour, which leads to reproductive isolation and full speciation. However, the full speciation process has been mostly studied through computer simulations and only analysed in part. Here I present a complete analysis of the whole speciation process by allowing for the simultaneous evolution of the branching ecological trait as well as a continuous trait controlling mating behaviour. I show how the joint evolution can be understood in terms of a gradient landscape, where the plausibility of different evolutionary paths can be evaluated graphically. I find sympatric speciation unlikely for scenarios with a continuous, unimodal, distribution of resources. Rather, ecological settings where the fitness inferiority of intermediate types is preserved during the ecological branching are more likely to provide opportunity for adaptive, sympatric speciation. Such scenarios include speciation due to predator avoidance or specialization on discrete resources.},
  author       = {Ripa, Jörgen},
  issn         = {1573-8477},
  keyword      = {Adaptive dynamics,Sympatric speciation,Assortative mating},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {31--52},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {Evolutionary Ecology},
  title        = {When is sympatric speciation truly adaptive? An analysis of the joint evolution of resource utilization and assortative mating},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10682-008-9267-z},
  volume       = {23},
  year         = {2009},
}