Document Detail

Behavioural divergence, interfertility and speciation: A review.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22982487     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Behavioural compatibility between mates is fundamental for maintaining species boundaries and is achieved through appropriate communication between males and females. A breakdown in communication will lead to behavioural divergence and reduced interfertility. In this review, we summarise the current knowledge on male signals and female perception of these signals, integrating the literature from several taxa. We advocate that signaller-perceiver coevolution, which is usually under strong stabilising selection to enable mating, forms the basis of species-specific mate recognition systems. The mechanisms (phylogeny, geography, ecology, biology) shaping signaller-perceiver systems are briefly discussed to demonstrate the factors underpinning the evolution of signaller-perceiver couplings. Since divergence and diversification of communication systems is driven by changes in the mechanical properties of sensory pathways and morphology of sensory organs, we highlight signal modalities (auditory, olfactory, visual, tactile) and their importance in communication, particularly in mate selection. Next, using available examples and generating a stylised model, we suggest how disruption (biological, ecological, stochastic) of signaller-perceiver systems drives behavioural divergence and consequently results in reduced interfertility and speciation. Future studies should adopt an integrative modelling approach, combining multiple parameters (phylogeny, adaptive utility of communication systems, genetics and biomechanical/biochemical properties of signals and perception) to explore how disruption of signaller-perceiver systems results in behavioural divergence and reduced interfertility. Finally, we question the impact that rapid environmental change will have on disruption of communication systems, potentially interfering with signaller-perceiver couplings.
Neville Pillay; Tasmin L Rymer
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-9-6
Journal Detail:
Title:  Behavioural processes     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1872-8308     ISO Abbreviation:  Behav. Processes     Publication Date:  2012 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-9-17     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7703854     Medline TA:  Behav Processes     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
School of Animal, Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Private Bag 3, WITS 2050, South Africa. Electronic address:
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