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Evolution. 2005 Oct;59(10):2097-108.

Female mate-choice behavior and sympatric speciation.

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Department of Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599, USA.


Many models have investigated how the process of speciation may occur in sympatry. In these models, individuals are either asexual or mate choice is determined by very simple rules. Females, for example, may be assumed either to compare their phenotype to that of a potential mate, preferring to mate with similar males (phenotype matching), or to possess preference genes that determine which male phenotype they prefer. These rules often do not reflect the mate-choice rules found in empirical studies. In this paper, we compare these two modes of female choice with various types of sexual imprinting. We examine the efficacy of different mate-choice behavior in causing divergence in male traits under simple deterministic one-locus population genetic models as well as under polygenic, individual-based simulations based on the models of Dieckmann and Doebeli (1999). We find that the inheritance mechanism of mate choice can have a large effect on the ease of sympatric speciation. When females imprint on their mothers, the result of the model is similar to phenotype matching, where speciation can occur fairly easily. When females imprint on their fathers or imprint obliquely, speciation becomes considerably less likely. Finally, when females rely on preference genes, male trait evolution occurs easily, but the correlation between trait and preference can be weak, and interpreting these results as speciation may be suspect.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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