Phylo-comparative analyses reveal the dual role of drift and selection in reproductive character displacement

Creative Commons License

Saglam I. K., Miller M. R., O'Rourke S., Caglar S. S.

MOLECULAR PHYLOGENETICS AND EVOLUTION, vol.140, 2019 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


When incipient species meet in secondary contact, natural selection can rapidly reduce costly reproductive interactions by directly targeting reproductive traits. This process, called reproductive character displacement (RCD), leaves a characteristic pattern of geographic variation where divergence of traits between species is greater in sympatry than allopatry. However, because other forces can also cause similar patterns, care must be given in separating pattern from process. Here we show how the phylo-comparative method together with genomic data can be used to evaluate evolutionary processes at the population level in closely related species. Using this framework, we WA the role of RCD in speciation of two cricket species endemic to Anatolian mountains by quantifying patterns of character displacement, rates of evolution and adaptive divergence. Our results show differing patterns of character displacement between species for reproductive vs. non-reproductive characters and strong patterns of asymmetric divergence. We demonstrate diversification results from rapid divergence of reproductive traits towards multiple optima under the dual influence of strong drift and selection. These results present the first solid evidence for RCD in Anatolian mountains, quantify the amount of drift and selection necessary for RCD to lead to speciation, and demonstrate the utility of phylo-comparative methods for quantifying evolutionary parameters at the population level.