Coevolution, Cryptic Speciation, and the Persistence of Interactions

John N. Thompson

in Specialization, Speciation, and Radiation

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2008 | ISBN: 9780520251328
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520933828 | DOI:
Coevolution, Cryptic Speciation, and the Persistence of Interactions

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An almost-inevitable consequence of the geographic mosaic of coevolution, at least in widespread species, is the formation of one or more highly divergent populations that have the potential to form new species. The potential for the development of host races in insects, either as allopatric or sympatric populations, has a long and continuing history of study in insect evolutionary biology. Numerous studies have explored how the repeated evolution of polyploid populations may shape the ecology and evolution of plant–insect interactions. This chapter discusses how our developing knowledge of the geographic mosaic of coevolution and cryptic speciation may help us better understand how plant–insect interactions persist for millions of years despite ongoing rapid evolution in ever-changing environments. It focuses on interactions between prodoxid moths in the genus Greya, their host plants, and parasitoids as exemplars of how our understanding of the dynamics of interactions involving phytophagous insects is advancing as researchers integrate results from multiple subdisciplines.

Keywords: coevolution; cryptic speciation; evolutionary biology; Greya; ecology; plant–insect interactions; prodoxid moths; host plants; parasitoids; phytophagous insects

Chapter.  6709 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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