3 years ago

The Roles of Sexual and Viability Selection in the Evolution of Incomplete Reproductive Isolation: From Allopatry to Sympatry.

Maria R Servedio, Olivier Cotto
In recent years, theoretical models have introduced the concept that ongoing hybridization between "good" species can occur because incomplete reproductive isolation can be a selected optimum. They furthermore show that positive frequency-dependent sexual selection, which is naturally generated by some of the underlying processes that lead to assortative mating, plays a key role in the evolution of incomplete reproductive isolation. This occurs, however, through different mechanisms in sympatric versus allopatric scenarios. We investigate the evolution of incomplete reproductive isolation by sexual selection in scenarios ranging from sympatry to allopatry, to examine how these mechanisms interact. We consider an ecological scenario in which there are two habitats used during foraging and individuals can breed either within a habitat or in a common mating pool. We find that when trait divergence is maintained, sexual selection drives the evolution of choosiness in opposite ways in the common mating pool versus within each habitat. Specifically, strong choosiness is favored in the common mating pool, whereas intermediate choosiness is favored within habitat; the interaction of these forces determines whether intermediate reproductive isolation ultimately evolves in the system. We further find cases where the evolution of stronger choosiness occurs but leads to the loss of divergence. Overall, our study shows that contrasting forces on the evolution of reproductive isolation can occur in different mating areas, and we propose a new avenue for understanding the diversity in levels of reproductive isolation within and across species.

Publisher URL: http://doi.org/10.1086/693855

DOI: 10.1086/693855

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