The role of demographic stochasticity in a speciation model with sexual reproduction
Luis F. Lafuerza, Alan J. McKane
(Submitted on 15 Sep 2015)
Recent theoretical studies have shown that demographic stochasticity can greatly increase the tendency of asexually reproducing phenotypically diverse organisms to spontaneously evolve into localised clusters, suggesting a simple mechanism for sympatric speciation. Here we study the role of demographic stochasticity in a model of competing organisms subject to assortative mating. We find that in models with sexual reproduction, noise can also lead to the formation of phenotypic clusters in parameter ranges where deterministic models would lead to a homogeneous distribution. In some cases, noise can have a sizeable effect, rendering the deterministic modelling insufficient to understand the phenotypic distribution.