Evol Ecol Res 8: 399-413 (2006)     Full PDF if your library subscribes.

Sexual selection and the detection of ecological speciation

Amy K. Schwartz* and Andrew P. Hendry

Redpath Museum and Department of Biology, McGill University, 859 Sherbrooke Street West, Montréal, Québec H3A 2K6, Canada

Author to whom all correspondence should be addressed.
e-mail: amy.schwartz@mail.mcgill.ca


Context: Ecological speciation is commonly inferred with evidence of the parallel evolution of pre-mating isolation: individuals from populations in similar environments show higher mating success in laboratory experiments than do individuals from different environments. Critically, this should hold even for mating crosses among populations that are from different locations that represent independent evolutionary lineages.

Problem: This prediction may not hold when conserved sexual selection (e.g. good genes benefits) constrains the evolution of mate preferences. In this case, ecological pre-mating isolation may be developing but is difficult to infer using the typical experimental approach.

Solution: We show how comparisons of mate preference functions among replicate populations in divergent environments can be used to reveal subtle signatures of ecological speciation. These functions can then be used to develop predictions of relative mating success in population crosses.

Significance: This general approach, based on mate preference functions, facilitates the simultaneous analysis of both pattern and process during ecological speciation.

Keywords: divergent natural selection, local adaptation, mate choice, parallel evolution, preference function, pre-mating isolation.

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        © 2006 Amy K. Schwartz. All EER articles are copyrighted by their authors. All authors endorse, permit and license Evolutionary Ecology Ltd. to grant its subscribing institutions/libraries the copying privileges specified below without additional consideration or payment to them or to Evolutionary Ecology, Ltd. These endorsements, in writing, are on file in the office of Evolutionary Ecology, Ltd. Consult authors for permission to use any portion of their work in derivative works, compilations or to distribute their work in any commercial manner.

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