InterJournal Complex Systems, 241
Status: Accepted
Manuscript Number: [241]
Submission Date: 981215
Revised On: 203
Comparing causal factors in the diversification of species
Author(s): Carlo Maley

Subject(s): CX.67, CX.35, CX.34, CX.19

Category: Brief Article


What have been the most important factors in the diversification of life? A configuration (individual-based) model ({MoD}) was constructed to examine the origins and maintenance of species diversity through time. The model represents a species as a connected component in a graph of the potential mating relationships between organisms. This allows us to detect speciation events and track species diversity over time, and so test many ``untestable hypotheses'' for the causes of diversification. The results suggest that much of the emphasis placed on the evolutionary innovations, in resource utilization and predation interactions, in order to explain the diversification of a group, is flawed at best. Furthermore, habitat heterogeneity had little impact on species diversity. Instead, the model points to the importance of geographical isolation as a primary causal factor for diversification, along with the evolution of specialization and sexual selection, in the form of positive assortative mating. The influence of assortative mating is particularly interesting because it is opaque to the methods of paleobiology.

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