Explaining the origin and development of species diversity is one of the greatest challenges in biology. To meet this challenge, it is necessary to achieve a better understanding of speciation processes. Past research has highlighted the importance of spatial population structure for the eco-evolutionary processes underlying speciation. The central role of geographic isolation in classical speciation theories illustrates this point. Recently it has also been shown in natural populations that non-random dispersal results in the genetic differentiation of fitness-related traits. In this project I will examine an individual-based, spatially and genetically explicit model of organisms with sexual reproduction. Focusing on sympatric conditions and uniform environments, I will investigate how conditions for evolutionary branching are influenced by spatial population structure. In particular, I will analyze the influence of the spatial ranges for competitive interaction, mate choice, and offspring dispersal.
Last edited: 25 March 2016
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
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