Reproductive isolation, speciation, and the value of disagreement: A reply to the commentaries on 'What is reproductive isolation?'

Westram AM, Stankowski S, Surendranadh P, Barton NH. 2022. Reproductive isolation, speciation, and the value of disagreement: A reply to the commentaries on ‘What is reproductive isolation?’ Journal of evolutionary biology. 35(9), 1200–1205.

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Abstract
Some say that when the title of a paper is phrased as a question, the authors will not be able to give a clear answer. Our article ‘What is reproductive isolation?’ (Westram et al., 2022a,b) is no exception: noticing that the term ‘Reproductive isolation’ (RI) is frequently used in the literature, yet almost never clearly defined, we tried to come up with a definition—but we quickly ran into numerous complexities that kept us from finding a simple answer. The complexity of the issue is reflected by the commentaries to our article, which highlight the diversity of views among speciation researchers with different interests, different empirical research experiences and different favourite species concepts [a diversity also highlighted by Rosales (2022)]. Some of the commentaries discuss the conceptual (Moyle et al., 2022) and practical (Stuckert & Matute, 2022) limitations of definitions of RI based on gene flow, whereas Planidin et al. (2022) extend the concept to aspects not explicitly covered by us. Rosales (2022) discusses how scientific definitions are developed and what they mean for the community and analyses our work in this context. In this response, we elaborate on why we think a definition based on gene flow is appropriate if we want to ‘make explicit and further elaborate’ (Rosales, 2022) the already existing concept of RI. In addition, we consider other important axes along which speciation could be quantified that were highlighted by the commentaries and discuss how they relate to RI. Numerous other interesting points brought up by the commentaries can unfortunately not be discussed here for reasons of space.
Publishing Year
Date Published
2022-09-05
Journal Title
Journal of evolutionary biology
Acknowledgement
We are very grateful to the authors of the commentaries for the interesting discussion and to Luke Holman for handling this set of manuscripts. Part of this work was funded by the Austrian Science Fund FWF (grant P 32166).
Volume
35
Issue
9
Page
1200-1205
eISSN
IST-REx-ID

Cite this

Westram AM, Stankowski S, Surendranadh P, Barton NH. Reproductive isolation, speciation, and the value of disagreement: A reply to the commentaries on “What is reproductive isolation?” Journal of evolutionary biology. 2022;35(9):1200-1205. doi:10.1111/jeb.14082
Westram, A. M., Stankowski, S., Surendranadh, P., & Barton, N. H. (2022). Reproductive isolation, speciation, and the value of disagreement: A reply to the commentaries on “What is reproductive isolation?” Journal of Evolutionary Biology. Wiley. https://doi.org/10.1111/jeb.14082
Westram, Anja M, Sean Stankowski, Parvathy Surendranadh, and Nicholas H Barton. “Reproductive Isolation, Speciation, and the Value of Disagreement: A Reply to the Commentaries on ‘What Is Reproductive Isolation?’” Journal of Evolutionary Biology. Wiley, 2022. https://doi.org/10.1111/jeb.14082.
A. M. Westram, S. Stankowski, P. Surendranadh, and N. H. Barton, “Reproductive isolation, speciation, and the value of disagreement: A reply to the commentaries on ‘What is reproductive isolation?,’” Journal of evolutionary biology, vol. 35, no. 9. Wiley, pp. 1200–1205, 2022.
Westram AM, Stankowski S, Surendranadh P, Barton NH. 2022. Reproductive isolation, speciation, and the value of disagreement: A reply to the commentaries on ‘What is reproductive isolation?’ Journal of evolutionary biology. 35(9), 1200–1205.
Westram, Anja M., et al. “Reproductive Isolation, Speciation, and the Value of Disagreement: A Reply to the Commentaries on ‘What Is Reproductive Isolation?’” Journal of Evolutionary Biology, vol. 35, no. 9, Wiley, 2022, pp. 1200–05, doi:10.1111/jeb.14082.
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