March  2010, 3(1): 143-163. doi: 10.3934/krm.2010.3.143

A model of sympatric speciation through reinforcement


Department of Biosciences at Novum, Karolinska Institutet, Department of biosciences and nutrition, Hälsovägen 7, 141 57 Huddinge, Sweden


Mathematical Sciences, Chalmers University of Technology and Mathematical Sciences, University of Gothenburg, 712 96 Göteborg, Sweden, Sweden

Received  September 2009 Revised  December 2009 Published  January 2010

Sympatric speciation, i.e. the evolutionary split of one species into two in the same environment, has been a highly troublesome concept. It has been a questioned if it is actually possible. Even though there have been a number of reported results both in the wild and from controlled experiments in laboratories, those findings are both hard to get and hard to analyze, or even repeat. In the current study we propose a mathematical model which addresses the question of sympatric speciation and the evolution of reinforcement. Our aim has been to capture some of the essential features such as: phenotype, resources, competition, heritage, mutation, and reinforcement, in as simple a way as possible. Still, the resulting model is not too easy to grasp with purely analytical tools, so we have also complemented those studies with stochastic simulations. We present a few results that both illustrates the usefulness of such a model, but also rises new biological questions about sympatric speciation and reinforcement in particular.
Citation: Johan Henriksson, Torbjörn Lundh, Bernt Wennberg. A model of sympatric speciation through reinforcement. Kinetic and Related Models, 2010, 3 (1) : 143-163. doi: 10.3934/krm.2010.3.143

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