Biology as Poetry: Evolutionary Biology

Bacteriophage Ecology Group

Parapatric Speciation

Substantial reductions in gene flow between populations without geographical isolation.

Parapatric speciation differs from allopatric and peripatric speciation particularly in terms of how much gene flow is occurring between the diverging populations. With allopatric and peripatric speciation there is little or no gene flow whereas with parapatric speciation there are at least opportunities for greater gene flow since the two populations involved are not separated by an effectively impenetrable geographical barrier (that is, the two populations remain parapatric).

Relevant to appreciating the concept of parapatric speciation is that of subspecies, where in effect the speciation event with parapatric speciation occurs between two subspecies that otherwise are not completely cut off from each other in terms of a potential for gene flow, e.g., see introgression. By contrast, see also sympatric speciation.

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