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By the end of this section, you will be able to:
  • Describe the definition of species and how species are identified as different
  • Explain allopatric and sympatric speciation
  • Describe adaptive radiation

The biological definition of species, which works for sexually reproducing organisms, is a group of actually or potentially interbreeding individuals. According to this definition, one species is distinguished from another by the possibility of matings between individuals from each species to produce fertile offspring. There are exceptions to this rule. Many species are similar enough that hybrid offspring are possible and may often occur in nature, but for the majority of species this rule generally holds. In fact, the presence of hybrids between similar species suggests that they may have descended from a single interbreeding species and that the speciation process may not yet be completed.

Given the extraordinary diversity of life on the planet there must be mechanisms for speciation    : the formation of two species from one original species. Darwin envisioned this process as a branching event and diagrammed the process in the only illustration found in On the Origin of Species ( [link] a ). For speciation to occur, two new populations must be formed from one original population, and they must evolve in such a way that it becomes impossible for individuals from the two new populations to interbreed. Biologists have proposed mechanisms by which this could occur that fall into two broad categories. Allopatric speciation , meaning speciation in “other homelands,” involves a geographic separation of populations from a parent species and subsequent evolution. Sympatric speciation , meaning speciation in the “same homeland,” involves speciation occurring within a parent species while remaining in one location.

Biologists think of speciation events as the splitting of one ancestral species into two descendant species. There is no reason why there might not be more than two species formed at one time except that it is less likely and such multiple events can also be conceptualized as single splits occurring close in time.

Photo (a) shows a yellowed piece of paper with evenly spaced horizontal lines numbered from 0 at the bottom to 14 at the top. Below the horizontal lines are vertical lines labeled A to L from left to right. From these originating vertical lines other vertical lines extend upward to as far as the horizontal line number 10, some ending at a lower level. The lines at letter A and I have many branches, resembling a tree. The lines that reach level 10 are further extended with 1 to 3 vertical lines in level 11 to 14. Illustration (b) shows the evolution of modern African and Asian elephants from a common ancestor, the Palaeomastodon. The Palaeomastodon was similar to modern elephants; however, it was smaller and had a long nose instead of a trunk. Side branches of the elephant evolutionary tree gave rise to mastodons and mammoths. The mammoth is more closely related to modern elephants than mastodons.
The only illustration in Darwin’s On the Origin of Species is (a) a diagram showing speciation events leading to biological diversity. The diagram shows similarities to phylogenetic charts that are drawn today to illustrate the relationships of species. (b) Modern elephants evolved from the Palaeomastodon , a species that lived in Egypt 35–50 million years ago.

Speciation through geographic separation

A geographically continuous population has a gene pool that is relatively homogeneous. Gene flow, the movement of alleles across the range of the species, is relatively free because individuals can move and then mate with individuals in their new location. Thus, the frequency of an allele at one end of a distribution will be similar to the frequency of the allele at the other end. When populations become geographically discontinuous that free-flow of alleles is prevented. When that separation lasts for a period of time, the two populations are able to evolve along different trajectories. Thus, their allele frequencies at numerous genetic loci gradually become more and more different as new alleles independently arise by mutation in each population. Typically, environmental conditions, such as climate, resources, predators, and competitors, for the two populations will differ causing natural selection to favor divergent adaptations in each group. Different histories of genetic drift, enhanced because the populations are smaller than the parent population, will also lead to divergence.

Questions & Answers

how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
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Maciej
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s. Reply
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Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
s.
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Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
Virgil
is Bucky paper clear?
CYNTHIA
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s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Harper
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s.
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SUYASH Reply
for screen printed electrodes ?
SUYASH
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
Ebrahim
or in general
Ebrahim
in general
s.
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
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what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
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Cied
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I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
Porter
many many of nanotubes
Porter
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Yasmin
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Cesar
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Uday
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
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what is nano technology
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what is system testing?
AMJAD
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
Yes, Nanotechnology has a very fast field of applications and their is always something new to do with it...
Himanshu Reply
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AMJAD
what is system testing
AMJAD
what is the application of nanotechnology?
Stotaw
In this morden time nanotechnology used in many field . 1-Electronics-manufacturad IC ,RAM,MRAM,solar panel etc 2-Helth and Medical-Nanomedicine,Drug Dilivery for cancer treatment etc 3- Atomobile -MEMS, Coating on car etc. and may other field for details you can check at Google
Azam
anybody can imagine what will be happen after 100 years from now in nano tech world
Prasenjit
after 100 year this will be not nanotechnology maybe this technology name will be change . maybe aftet 100 year . we work on electron lable practically about its properties and behaviour by the different instruments
Azam
name doesn't matter , whatever it will be change... I'm taking about effect on circumstances of the microscopic world
Prasenjit
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Damian
silver nanoparticles could handle the job?
Damian
not now but maybe in future only AgNP maybe any other nanomaterials
Azam
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Uday
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Uday
this technology will not going on for the long time , so I'm thinking about femtotechnology 10^-15
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how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
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Source:  OpenStax, Natural history supplemental. OpenStax CNX. Aug 19, 2014 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11695/1.1
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