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allopatric vs sympatric speciation HELP!

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allopatric vs sympatric speciation HELP!

Postby NewtoBiology » Fri Jan 25, 2008 1:54 am

Hello,

Can anyone explain what types of experiments I might conduct to measure allopatric speciation vs sympatric speciation.

Lets say I have two different types of birds and one set of biologists argue that they are due to allopatric speciation while other biologists argue they are due to sympatric speciation. What experiments could i do in order to test them both, what would i measure and what results would i expect to see?

Thank you
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Postby mith » Fri Jan 25, 2008 5:12 am

first of all, look up their definitions. Then throw some ideas out and we'll soundboard back.
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Postby MrMistery » Fri Jan 25, 2008 9:14 am

you can't actually "test" evolution. it is a theory. But in your case you could measure certain things and observe others that might support one hypothesis or the other.
But first you gotta prove you did some work...
"As a biologist, I firmly believe that when you're dead, you're dead. Except for what you live behind in history. That's the only afterlife" - J. Craig Venter
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Postby NewtoBiology » Fri Jan 25, 2008 2:48 pm

Thank you guys,

Let me do some work and see what you think about my NewToBiology thought pattern.

allopatric speciation: speciation that takes place in populations with geographically seperate ranges. Therefore the gene flow is initially interrupted or reduced because they are seperated by space.

Sympatric speciation: speciation takes palce in geographically overlapping populations but due to biological factors such as chromosomal changes or nonrandom mating.

SO..the question is did two species of birds evolve due to allopatric speciation or sympatric speciation...

TO TEST THIS I would

Allopatric speciation: I could ask locals for the history of the birds and any observations they might have, or could I look at their DNA. If their DNA matches then could it be concluded that they are from the same ancester species just evolved due to allopatric speciation. Have I totally lost the point or is there something else I can look at?

sympatric speciation:
test the chromsomes to look for polyploids. If one bird species is a polyploid, and the other is not, then the birds evolved due to sympatric speciation. Can I add anything to this or some other observations to test my hypothesis?

Any ideas to bounce back would be so greatfully appreciated!!

NewToBiology.... :-(
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Postby mith » Fri Jan 25, 2008 3:22 pm

Good start, but certainly any two species that used to be one species are bound to have sequence matches in between simply because they're ancestral. However it's good that you noticed the key is they're going to be different kinds of changes.
Additionally, the sympatric speciation may also suggest that behaviorally the two species are isolated meaning you could check for how they're living differently.
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Postby NewtoBiology » Fri Jan 25, 2008 3:49 pm

Thank you Mith,

After looking at the bird example again it is clear that the two species behave differently. One type of bird feeds in the trees and has a nest up high, while the other bird feeds off the ground and has a nest in the rushes. This behavior would indicate evolution due to sympatric speciation then correct?

To test the allopatric speciation I would have to look at the history only??? Could you think of any clue to give me or any hypothesis to test if they evolved due to allopatric speciation?

Thank you very much for your time.

Vanessa
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Postby mith » Fri Jan 25, 2008 6:12 pm

Allopatric as you mentioned before suggests they are separated geologically. Easiest way of course is to look at some natural barrier that might have formed. For instance in the Hawaiian Islands, flies are separated by the ocean and migrations are rare occurences(birds carrying fly eggs?). Another example is if there was a river that formed, or an earthquake that created a chasm.

Another way is to see whether the two environments are are very different or similar. If they're different obviously you'll find adapations that reflect that. If the environments are similar you'll have a harder time resolving this. However you can use some DNA sequencing to give some insights. If the two species are more related to each other than to other species, you have a better case for sympatric than allopatric. So say if you had species A and species B in an area but species A is more related to species B than other species A. The assumption here being that the two species are more isolated from other species than from each other.
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Postby NewtoBiology » Sat Jan 26, 2008 1:22 pm

Thank you so much for all your help!!
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