How can we understand better theoretically the origins of new species and the links between micro-evolutionary processes and macro-evolutionary patterns?

Monday, November 27, 2017

Speciation or formation of new species is of a great concern to evolutionary biologists. At all times, scientists wondered how it happened that so many new species appeared on the planet. Yet before people could have a clue about genetics and heredity, Darwin presented his book On the Origin of Species (1859). According to Darwin, evolution was the result of natural selection. It was thought to be very long and durable process so that researchers looked for more evidence. In the era of genetics, the theory of Modern Synthesis introduced mutation and recombination as means of species formation (the 1930s). A decade later, the study of barriers to reproduction became popular. It said, there must be hurdles for mating for new species to emerge. In the 1990s, the mechanisms of speciation were reconsidered and it acquired ideas such as ecological speciation, sexual selection, genetic drift, and mutation-order speciation.
Processes of microevolution make the basis for us to understand these complex ideas that biologists and genetics developed over the 20th century. New species form as old species change their genes in some ways. Mutation, gene flow, genetic drift, and natural selection are considered to ensure species change their genes. Some genes randomly mutate and then can be passed to offspring. The interchange of genes is especially fast when carriers of these genes migrate. Genetic drift explains why offspring have more diversified genetic makeup than their parents. And natural selection is the old Darwin’s idea that only the species that best suit for survival can survive and reproduce.