Speciation is the evolutionary process by which populations evolve to become distinct species. The biologist Orator F. Cook coined the term in 1906 for cladogenesis, the splitting of lineages, as opposed to anagenesis, phyletic evolution within lineages.[1][2][3] Charles Darwin was the first to describe the role of natural selection in speciation in his 1859 book On the Origin of Species.[4] He also identified sexual selection as a likely mechanism, but found it problematic.

There are four geographic modes of speciation in nature, based on the extent to which speciating populations are isolated from one another: allopatric, peripatric, parapatric, and sympatric. Whether genetic drift is a minor or major contributor to speciation is the subject of much ongoing discussion.[5]

Rapid sympatric speciation can take place through polyploidy, such as by doubling of chromosome number; the result is progeny which are immediately reproductively isolated from the parent population. New species can also be created through hybridization, followed by reproductive isolation, if the hybrid is favoured by natural selection.[citation needed]

  1. ^ Berlocher 1998, p. 3
  2. ^ Cook, Orator F. (March 30, 1906). "Factors of species-formation". Science. 23 (587): 506–507. Bibcode:1906Sci....23..506C. doi:10.1126/science.23.587.506. PMID 17789700.
  3. ^ Cook, Orator F. (November 1908). "Evolution Without Isolation". The American Naturalist. 42 (503): 727–731. doi:10.1086/279001. S2CID 84565616.
  4. ^ Via, Sara (June 16, 2009). "Natural selection in action during speciation". PNAS. 106 (Suppl 1): 9939–9946. Bibcode:2009PNAS..106.9939V. doi:10.1073/pnas.0901397106. PMC 2702801. PMID 19528641.
  5. ^ Schneider, Christopher J. (31 October 2000). "Natural selection and speciation". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 97 (23): 12398–12399. doi:10.1073/pnas.240463297. PMC 34057.

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