Wednesday, July 20, 2011

We threw the S bomb

We resist it for the first three chapters of my thesis, but for the last one we threw the S bomb. That is right, a plain and simple sympatric speciation model. The paper recently went online at the Journal of Evolutionary Biology. In that paper we have separated three different factors that potentially contribute to sympatric speciation. The first one is assortative mating, the second one is intraspecific competition and the last one is resource distribution, not in the spatial sense, but unimodal resource distribution versus bimodal resource distribution.

We found that the most important factor was assortative mating, but other factors must also be present. Bimodal resource distribution was found to be the next most important factor. And, at last but not least, intermediate competition among phenotypes promotes sympatric speciation. To spice up the conclusions, there was no recipe to always end up in sympatric speciation, stochastic factors play also an important role.

The paper already received a lot of press Science Daily, Science 360, etc. What grabbed my attention is coverage from Uncommon Descent, where they highlight in bright red change they made in a quotation, to reverse the conclusion of the paper in the favor of a weird argument.

Do not let the 17Mo file size deter you from downloading are reading this paper. Next time when they ask me for a high resolution figure, I will be more careful, I promise.

1 comment:

  1. After much debate we decided to compress some of the figures in the manuscript. While losing some image quality, the paper gain in portability, as it can now fit on a floppy disk (560K).


To what extent is evolution predictable, and why?

<Posted by Dan Bolnick on behalf of Patrik Nosil> Evolution is often portrayed as a descriptive science, rather than a predictive o...