Thursday, October 2, 2014

Geographic Variation within Species: Ecotypes


  • ecotypes: geographic variation within species
  • local adaptation can occur within the same species
  • there are experiments that can be done to check if two populations of a species at different environments have undergone local adaptation
  • examples of plants that have been locally adapted (populations at high and low altitudes) and plants that have not been locally adapted (dispersed at distances starting from 0.1 to 2000 km apart)
  • experiments are done by transplanting members of both populations under investigation at the same environment then measuring to see if differences between them appear
  • there can exist a balance between local adaptation and hybridization: "local selection by no means always overrides hybridization"
Ecotype experiment
Ecotype experiment


  • Which of the two are considered to be ecotypes?
  • Are the different ones still considered of the same species?


  1. How can experiments be made to test the interaction between hybridization and specialization (divergence)?
  2. What are ecotypes?