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Keywords:

  • Colonization;
  • extinction;
  • metapopulation;
  • speciation

Abstract

Speciation in many groups of plants and animals is thought to occur in single, isolated populations. Recent investigations of metapopulation longevity and genetic structure indicate that metapopulations have demographic and genetic properties which may be more conducive for local speciation than properties of single populations. It is argued that metapopulations may persist longer than single populations, that the former may retain genetic variation more readily, and that the former offers more opportunity for genomic reorganization.