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Behavioral Isolation and Incipient Speciation in Birds

Authors
  • Uy, J. Albert C.
  • Irwin, Darren E.
  • Webster, Michael S.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics
Publisher
Annual Reviews
Publication Date
Nov 02, 2018
Volume
49
Pages
1–24
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1146/annurev-ecolsys-110617-062646
Source
Annual Reviews
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

Behavioral changes, such as those involved in mating, foraging, and migration, can generate reproductive barriers between populations. Birds, in particular, are known for their great diversity in these behaviors, and so behavioral isolation is often proposed to be the major driver of speciation. Here, we review empirical evidence to evaluate the importance of behavioral isolation in the early stages of avian speciation. Experimentally measured mating preferences indicate that changes in mating behavior can result in premating barriers, with their strength depending on the extent of divergence in mating signals. Differences in migratory and foraging behavior also can play important roles in generating reproductive barriers in the early stages of speciation. However, because premating behavioral isolation is imperfect, extrinsic postzygotic barriers, in the form of selection against hybrids having intermediate phenotypes, also play an important role in avian diversification, especially in completing the speciation process.

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