Artbildning - hur blir djurpopulationer reproduktivt isolerade från varandra?

Tidsperiod: 2013-01-01 till 2016-12-31

Finansiär: Vetenskapsrådet

Bidragstyp: Projektbidrag

Budget: 3 600 000 SEK

The aim is to reveal what factors that are most important in producing new species in nature. I focus on central evolutionary questions such as; (a) How does ecological divergence lead to the build up of reproductive isolation? (b) Does phenotypic plasticity speed up population divergence? (c) Can adaptive mate choice facilitate speciation-under-gene-flow? (c) How do properties of the genome, e.g. varying degree of recombination rates influence the likelihood of speciation? The feasibility in answering such central questions rests on my research team?s use of a broad range of methods including field experiments, recently developed mathematical models, methods of quantitative genetics and of molecular genetics. I use a study system, i.e. Ficedula flycatchers, which enable me to design experiments to investigate the relative importance and the interaction between factors influencing speciation under natural conditions. Due to my accumulated pedigree information various genetic approaches becomes applicable. I also use a complimentary study system, diverging populations of Strawberry poison frogs, to study an earlier stage of speciation. The latter system is particularly suitable for investigating how suits of co-evolved characters diverge together. The planned research has the potential to lead to several novel insights concerning speciation. Speciation not only lies at the heart of evolutionary ecology, it is also the only process by which biodiversity origin.