Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Evolution. 2003 Jan;57(1):154-8.

Socially mediated speciation.

Author information

  • 1Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, UMR 5554, Institut des Sciences de l'Evolution, Universit√© Montpellier II, 34095 Montpellier, France.


We employ a simple model to show that social selection can lead to prezygotic reproductive isolation. The evolution of social discrimination causes the congealing of phenotypically similar individuals into different, spatially distinct tribes. However, tribal formation is only obtained for certain types of social behavior: altruistic and selfish acts can produce tribes, whereas spiteful and mutualistic behaviors never do. Moreover, reduced hybrid fitness at tribal borders leads to the selection of mating preferences, which then spread to the core areas of the respective tribes. Unlike models of resource competition, our model generates reproductive isolation in an ecologically homogeneous environment. We elaborate on how altruistic acts can lead to reproductive isolation, but also predict that certain types of competition can lead to the speciation effect. Our theory provides a framework for how individual-level interactions mold lineage diversification, with parapatric speciation as a possible end product.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Support Center