Asymmetry in reproductive character displacement

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A commonly held view in studies of character displacement is that character states of both species are shifted in areas of sympatry. This view has been confirmed In an overwhelming number of cases for ecological character displacement. Excluding species pairs In which one of the two Interacting species is found only within the distribution of the other species and species displaying gynogenesis, the pattern of reproductive character displacement is asymmetrical in that the shift in character states between areas of symaptry and allopatry occurs in only one of the two interacting species. Hypotheses for the reasons behind this asymmetry in reproductive character displacement include (1) homogenizatlon by gene flow, (2) other mechanisms of reproductive isolation, and (3) sufficient reproductive isolation being provided by one of the interacting species exhibiting a pattern of reproductive character displacement. Because reproductive isolation can be achieved by divergence at any point in a sequence of premating reproductive behaviors and postmating developments, it is necessary to understand the mechanisms of reproductive isolation of two interacting taxa in areas of sympatry and allopatry and to analyze the relative contributions of potential factors to reproductive isolation to disentangle hypotheses for the patterns of asymmetry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-260
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Ecology and Field Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2008


  • Gryllus fultoni
  • Gryllus vernalis
  • Reproductive character displacement
  • Reproductive isolation


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