Synergistic selection between ecological niche and mate preference primes diversification
2017 (English)In: Evolution, ISSN 0014-3820, E-ISSN 1558-5646, Vol. 71, no 1, 6-22 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The ecological niche and mate preferences have independently been shown to be important for the process of speciation. Here, we articulate a novel mechanism by which ecological niche use and mate preference can be linked to promote speciation. The degree to which individual niches are narrow and clustered affects the strength of divergent natural selection and population splitting. Similarly, the degree to which individual mate preferences are narrow and clustered affects the strength of divergent sexual selection and assortative mating between diverging forms. This novel perspective is inspired by the literature on ecological niches; it also explores mate preferences and how they may contribute to speciation. Unlike much comparative work, we do not search for evolutionary patterns using proxies for adaptation and sexual selection, but rather we elucidate how ideas from niche theory relate to mate preference, and how this relationship can foster speciation. Recognizing that individual and population niches are conceptually and ecologically linked to individual and population mate preference functions will significantly increase our understanding of rapid evolutionary diversification in nature. It has potential to help solve the difficult challenge of testing the role of sexual selection in the speciation process. We also identify ecological factors that are likely to affect individual niche and individual mate preference in synergistic ways and as a consequence to promote speciation. The ecological niche an individual occupies can directly affect its mate preference. Clusters of individuals with narrow, differentiated niches are likely to have narrow, differentiated mate preference functions. Our approach integrates ecological and sexual selection research to further our understanding of diversification processes. Such integration may be necessary for progress because these processes seem inextricably linked in the natural world.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
WILEY-BLACKWELL , 2017. Vol. 71, no 1, 6-22 p.
Divergent selection, diversification, ecological niche, mate preference, natural selection, niche width, preference function, preference variation, sexual selection, speciation
Ecology Evolutionary Biology Genetics
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-319808DOI: 10.1111/evo.13089ISI: 000394439600002PubMedID: 27748954OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-319808DiVA: diva2:1087861
FunderSwedish Research Council