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Modeling coevolution and sympatric speciation of flowers and pollinators


  • Bhattacharyay, A.
  • Drossel, B.


A model based on quantitative genetics for the coevolution of plants and their pollinators is proposed. The model is characterized by competition for resources and by a two-fold coupling between the two types of species: pollinators depend on plants for resources and plants on pollinators for pollination. Starting with unimodal trait distributions, we study the dynamics of the model using computer simulations with discrete generations and alternating reproduction and selection. Under a variety of conditions we observe an evolution towards bimodal distributions, with two subpopulations that are reproductively isolated to a large extent. We also find sympatric speciation in situations where two pollinators pollinate the same plant, and where one pollinator pollinates two plants.

Suggested Citation

  • Bhattacharyay, A. & Drossel, B., 2005. "Modeling coevolution and sympatric speciation of flowers and pollinators," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 345(1), pages 159-172.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:phsmap:v:345:y:2005:i:1:p:159-172
    DOI: 10.1016/j.physa.2004.07.009

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. U. Dieckmann & M. Doebeli, 1999. "On the Origin of Species by Sympatric Speciation," Working Papers ir99013, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.
    2. M. Doebeli & U. Dieckmann, 2000. "Evolutionary Branching and Sympatric Speciation Caused by Different Types of Ecological Interactions," Working Papers ir00040, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.
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    Coevolution; Speciation; Quantitative genetics;


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