Bewildering diversity of species and ecosystems characterizes the living world. Until recently, mainstream evolutionary theory postulated that speciation nearly always requires geographic isolation of incipient species. This appears to be at odds with the diversity of many highly mobile animals. Also more recent models of speciation have suggested that mobility hinders speciation. These models, however, assumed that individuals move randomly. In reality, even simple organisms move non-randomly, responding to their environment. Such habitat selection behavior might reduce the gene flow between habitats to the extent necessary for speciation, while retaining the mobility that facilitates founding and survival of local populations. Therefore, together with habitat selection, mobility could even become a factor facilitating speciation, instead of restricting it. I will present preliminary results showing how a simple "avoid adverse conditions" movement behavior affects predicted processes of speciation. More complex habitat selection behaviors, to be explored in the remainder of my project, will also be discussed.
Last edited: 25 March 2016
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