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Allopatric and Sympatric Speciation

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Definition of Allopatric Speciation

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The word allopatric comes from the Greek language. Allopatric is a word that signifies "geographical." Geographic speciation, dumbbell model, and vicariant speciation are all terms used to describe allopatric speciation. So, what exactly is allopatric speciation? In layman's terms, it refers to the speciation of two populations of the same species that have gotten isolated from one another due to geographic barriers. Speciation is the gradual transformation of populations into new species.


Determination of Sympatric Speciation

occurs when new species emerge from an original population that is not geographically separated or has no barriers. The sympatric speciation notion distinguishes itself from other types of speciation in that new species emerge from livings that are found in highly overlapping and indistinguishable areas. Furthermore, because bacteria pass their DNA both within their community and to progeny when they reproduce, this sort of speciation is highly common in bacteria.


Allopatric Speciation Steps

It is a well-known truth that before the process of speciation began, there was a population of species that shared the same features and had complete freedom to mate with one another. As a result, a habitat always contained the same collection of individuals. The fundamental reason for allopatric speciation, as previously stated, is the geographical barrier that is built between populations of the same uniqueness, causing them to no longer be classed as the same species.


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Parallel Evolution

Selection as the driving force in divergence and speciation is supported by parallel evolution and parallel speciation. Many alleged examples have been discovered in nature. However, much work remains to be done - separating parallelism from a single origin, for example, can be challenging. 

More clarity will be gained through advances in modelling and experimental approaches. There's also a lack of data on how often identical selection forces lead to parallel evolution, as opposed to occasions where evolution discovers wholly alternative solutions to the same problem.

We are beginning to comprehend the genetic foundation of parallel evolution, but much more research is needed to determine the relative contributions of standing genetic variation, novo mutation, and gene flow to genetic change, as well as the function of constraints and stochasticity.


What is Speciation?

A species is a group of organisms showing similar features and can interbreed among themself to produce their offspring. Whereas speciation is a process of formation of new species from existing species as they evolve due to certain factors like geographical factors. The formed species are reproductively isolated from their previous species i.e, they cannot interbreed among themselves.

Factors Affecting Speciation Process

There are many factors that lead to speciation in the environment, they are

  1. Geographical Isolation: When a certain number of species move to different areas and due to this factor they cannot interbreed among themself due to several obstacles like mountains rise, continental drift, organism mate, etc and this leads to speciation.

  2. Reduction of Gene Flow: in the case when two individuals are not able to mate because of several factors then there are chances of reduced gene flow but not total isolation.

  3. Hybridisation: Hybridization is an artificial method of developing a new species. In animal husbandry, two parents from different species are mated to form a third species. Hybridization has numerous and various impacts on the process of speciation.

Advantages of Speciation

There are several advantages of speciation they are:

  1. Speciation teaches organisms to live under adverse conditions.

  2. It enriches the ecological balance of abiotic and biotic components.

Disadvantages of Speciation

  1. Cannot be taken for fossil records.

  2. Absent in asexual species.

  3. Only applied to populations that are geographically isolated.


Allopatric Speciation

This type of speciation happens when two populations of the same species become isolated from each other due to geographic factors. Speciation is a slow process due to which populations evolve into different species. A species is defined as a population that can interbreed among itself, so during the speciation process the population form two or more distinct species that can no longer interbreed among themselves.


Example of Allopatric Speciation:

  1. Darwin's Finches

It is a major example of allopatric speciation that occurs in Galapagos finches that Charles darwin. In total there are 15 types of finches on the Galapagos islands and all of them have specific features like beaks for eating different types of food, but all finches have common ancestors, because of isolation to different islands they evolved. The birds who survive successfully become prevalent in their environment and form a variety of species. This evolution is known as adaptive evolution.

  1. Grand Canyon Squirrels

When they are formed they create a natural barrier between the squirrels living in the area. Squirrel populations were separated due to geographical changes and they got distributed in different areas and became two different species.


Sympatric Speciation

Speciation occurs when two groups of the same species live in the same geographical location, but they evolve differently till they can no longer interbreed and are considered as different species. This type of speciation is seen in different types of organisms like bacteria, fish, apple maggot fly. But it is difficult to find when sympatric evolution occurred or occurred in nature. It evolves the population of new species when they are divided by geographical barriers. This evolution happens without any geographical isolation, under this evolution change in chromosomes occurs.


There Are Two Ways of This Type of Speciation They Are

  1. If an error occurs during cell division known as autopolyploidy.

  2. If there is more than one copy of chromosome or loss of a chromosome in one of the daughters and they are known as allopolyploidy.

  1. Autopolyploidy: As an organism has two sets of chromosomes but due to certain abnormalities if the daughter cell has more than two sets of chromosomes then this condition is known as autopolyploidy.

  2. Allopolyploidy: this type of speciation occurs when two different species mate and form new offspring. Example: tobacco, cotton, etc.

Difference Between Allopatric and Sympatric Speciation

Allopatric Speciation

Sympatric Speciation

1. Geographical isolation is needed.

1. Geographical isolation is not needed.

2. Natural selection is a major differentiation method.

2. Polyploidy is a major selection method.

3. Creation of new species processes is fast here.

3. Under autopolyploidy the process is fast and under allopolyploidy this method is slow.

4. It is commonly seen in both plants and animals.

4. It is commonly seen in plants.

5. Example: Darwin finches, Grand canyons.

5. Example: wheat, tobacco, etc.


Facts on Allopatric and Sympatric Speciation

1. Allopatric is speciation from a physical barrier.

2. In sympatric speciation, the 4n chromosome is formed instead of 2n.

3. In sympatric speciation, diploids cannot mate with tetraploids.


MCQ on Allopatric and Sympatric Speciation

1. Which of the Following Does Not  Tend to Promote Speciation?

A)  Founder Effect                

B)  Reproductive Isolation

C)  Natural Selection

D) Gene Flow

Answer: (D)


2. Which of the Following Statements Explains Why Animals Are Less Likely Than Plants to Speciate by Polyploidy?

A) Animals have behavioural rituals that result in mate recognition.

B) Animal movement patterns ensure gene flow.

C) Animals rarely self-fertilize, so diploid gametes are much less likely to fuse.

D) Animal chromosomes are less likely to replicate incorrectly than plants.

Answer: (C)


3. The Two Key Factors Responsible for Speciation Among Populations Are

A) Mutation and heterozygote disadvantage

B) Reproductive isolation and genetic divergence

C) Postzygotic isolation and morphological change

D) Mutation and genetic drift 

Answer: (B)


4. In Which Theory of Speciation Does a New Species Emerge from Within the Geographic Range of Its Ancestor?

A) Allopatric speciation

B) Parapatric speciation

C) Sympatric speciation

Answer: (A)

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FAQs on Allopatric and Sympatric Speciation

1. What is Speciation?

Speciation is an important phenomenon in the field of biological science. It is a process under which groups of organisms showing similar features can interbreed among themself to produce their offspring. Speciation, on the other hand, is the process of forming new species from existing species when they evolve owing to external influences such as geography. You can learn about speciation with the help of a free PDF available at Vedantu- Allopatric and Sympatric Speciation – Factors, Advantages and Disadvantages

2. What is Allopatric Speciation?

This type of speciation happens when two populations of the same species become isolated from each other due to geographic factors. Speciation is a slow process due to which people evolve into different species. When two groups of species are separated by a physical or geographic barrier, allopatric speciation occurs. Mountain ranges, oceans, and even large rivers are common examples of the same. The isthmus of Panama, which connects the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, is an excellent example of a geographical barrier.

3. What is Sympatric Speciation?

This type of speciation occurs when two groups of the same species live in the same geographical location, but evolve differently till they can no longer interbreed and are considered as different species. When populations of a species that share the same habitat become reproductively isolated from one another, this is known as sympatric speciation. Polyploidy, in which a child or group of offspring is created with double the normal number of chromosomes, is the most typical way for this speciation occurrence to occur.

4. Factors Affecting Speciation?

There are several factors affecting speciation are

  • Geographical Isolation: Isolation occurs due to several geographical factors like mountain ranges, rivers, etc due to this organism of the same species cannot interbreed among itself.

  • Reduction in Gene Flow: Due to isolation, reduction in gene flow occurs. Hybridisation is called as an artificial mode of speciation. You can learn about the factors affecting speciation in detail with the help of for free PDF available at Vedantu- Allopatric and Sympatric Speciation – Factors, Advantages and Disadvantages.

5. Is the Allopatric and Sympatric Speciation – Factors, Advantages and Disadvantages helpful? 

The pdf of Allopatric and Sympatric Speciation – Factors, Advantages and Disadvantages are one of the most important topics in biology. Students should learn the concepts properly with the help of this PDF provided by Vedantu. The topic taught is comprehensively well researched and can make the students aware of the allopatric and Sympatric speciation. One should be thorough with the advantages and disadvantages of the speciation. Students who want to appear in the main entrance examinations like NEET should learn with Vedantu. 

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