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      Habitat Choice and Speciation

      , , ,

      International Journal of Ecology

      Hindawi Limited

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          Abstract

          The role of habitat choice in reproductive isolation and ecological speciation has often been overlooked, despite acknowledgement of its ability to facilitate local adaptation. It can form part of the speciation process through various evolutionary mechanisms, yet where habitat choice has been included in models of ecological speciation little thought has been given to these underlying mechanisms. Here, we propose and describe three independent criteria underlying ten different evolutionary scenarios in which habitat choice may promote or maintain local adaptation. The scenarios are the result of all possible combinations of the independent criteria, providing a conceptual framework in which to discuss examples which illustrate each scenario. These examples show that the different roles of habitat choice in ecological speciation have rarely been effectively distinguished. Making such distinctions is an important challenge for the future, allowing better experimental design, stronger inferences and more meaningful comparisons among systems. We show some of the practical difficulties involved by reviewing the current evidence for the role of habitat choice in local adaptation and reproductive isolation in the intertidal gastropod Littorina saxatilis, a model system for the study of ecological speciation, assessing whether any of the proposed scenarios can be reliably distinguished, given current research.

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          Phenotypic plasticity's impacts on diversification and speciation.

          Phenotypic plasticity (the ability of a single genotype to produce multiple phenotypes in response to variation in the environment) is commonplace. Yet its evolutionary significance remains controversial, especially in regard to whether and how it impacts diversification and speciation. Here, we review recent theory on how plasticity promotes: (i) the origin of novel phenotypes, (ii) divergence among populations and species, (iii) the formation of new species and (iv) adaptive radiation. We also discuss the latest empirical support for each of these evolutionary pathways to diversification and identify potentially profitable areas for future research. Generally, phenotypic plasticity can play a largely underappreciated role in driving diversification and speciation. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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            Chromosome inversions, local adaptation and speciation.

            We study the evolution of inversions that capture locally adapted alleles when two populations are exchanging migrants or hybridizing. By suppressing recombination between the loci, a new inversion can spread. Neither drift nor coadaptation between the alleles (epistasis) is needed, so this local adaptation mechanism may apply to a broader range of genetic and demographic situations than alternative hypotheses that have been widely discussed. The mechanism can explain many features observed in inversion systems. It will drive an inversion to high frequency if there is no countervailing force, which could explain fixed differences observed between populations and species. An inversion can be stabilized at an intermediate frequency if it also happens to capture one or more deleterious recessive mutations, which could explain polymorphisms that are common in some species. This polymorphism can cycle in frequency with the changing selective advantage of the locally favored alleles. The mechanism can establish underdominant inversions that decrease heterokaryotype fitness by several percent if the cause of fitness loss is structural, while if the cause is genic there is no limit to the strength of underdominance that can result. The mechanism is expected to cause loci responsible for adaptive species-specific differences to map to inversions, as seen in recent QTL studies. We discuss data that support the hypothesis, review other mechanisms for inversion evolution, and suggest possible tests.
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              Genetic Equilibrium When More Than One Ecological Niche is Available

               Howard Levene (1953)
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                International Journal of Ecology
                International Journal of Ecology
                Hindawi Limited
                1687-9708
                1687-9716
                2012
                2012
                : 2012
                :
                : 1-12
                Article
                10.1155/2012/154686
                © 2012

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