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Evolution. 2002 Sep;56(9):1859-62.

The evolution of reproductive isolation in spatially structured populations.

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  • 1University of Virginia, Department of Biology, Charlottesville 22904, USA. schurch@bio.indiana.edu


Recent models of speciation have incorporated population structure and migration into the classic model of speciation in which reproductive isolation arises as a by-product of divergence. In this paper, we expanded these models to explore the joint effects of migration and population subdivision on speciation in a spatially explicit context. The results of our simulation support previous results concerning the influence of population subdivision on the accumulation of reproductive isolation. The simulation also shows that speciation in subdivided populations occurs most rapidly when subpopulations are not strictly allopatric. These results counter the widespread notion that speciation is most likely to occur in allopatric populations and suggest that there are useful insights to be gained by incorporating increasingly realistic types of population structure into models of speciation.

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