A stochastic model for speciation by mating preferences

A stochastic model for speciation by mating preferences
Camille Coron, Manon Costa, Hélène Leman, Charline Smadi

Mechanisms leading to speciation are a major focus in evolutionary biology. In this paper, we present and study a stochastic model of population where individuals, with type a or A, are equivalent from ecological, demographical and spatial points of view, and differ only by their mating preference: two individuals with the same genotype have a higher probability to produce a viable offspring. The population is subdivided in several patches and individuals may migrate between them. We show that mating preferences by themselves, even if they are very small, are enough to entail reproductive isolation between patches, and consequently speciation, and we provide the time needed for this isolation to occur. Our results rely on a fine study of the stochastic process and of its deterministic limit in large population, which is given by a system of coupled nonlinear differential equations. Besides, we propose several generalisations of our model, and prove that our findings are robust for those generalisations.


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