Evidence for Ecological Speciation and Its Alternative

Biodiversity Research Centre and Zoology Department, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada.
Science (Impact Factor: 33.61). 03/2009; 323(5915):737-41. DOI: 10.1126/science.1160006
Source: PubMed


Natural selection commonly drives the origin of species, as Darwin initially claimed. Mechanisms of speciation by selection fall into two broad categories: ecological and mutation-order. Under ecological speciation, divergence is driven by divergent natural selection between environments, whereas under mutation-order speciation, divergence occurs when different mutations arise and are fixed in separate populations adapting to similar selection pressures. Tests of parallel evolution of reproductive isolation, trait-based assortative mating, and reproductive isolation by active selection have demonstrated that ecological speciation is a common means by which new species arise. Evidence for mutation-order speciation by natural selection is more limited and has been best documented by instances of reproductive isolation resulting from intragenomic conflict. However, we still have not identified all aspects of selection, and identifying the underlying genes for reproductive isolation remains challenging.

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