The workshop will review and integrate theories of formation and maintenance of species diversity. The Darwinian perspective on the origin of species explains phenotypic divergence between populations in terms of their reduced struggle for existence: species can diminish competition by assuming different roles in the economy of nature. In modern terms, Darwinian speciation is necessarily based on niche segregation; in particular, adaptation to different spatial habitats and to different resources offer two complementary ways of reducing competition. Accordingly, the parapatric and sympatric modes of speciation can be seen as different realizations of the same underlying phenomenon. Over the last decade, robust empirical evidence has been accumulating concerning mechanisms for maintaining species coexistence, frequency-dependent selection, ecological divergence, and sympatric speciation. This workshop will cover empirical and theoretical aspects of niche segregation, phenotypic evolution, and genetics of speciation, with the aim of developing connections between ecological and genetic theories of biodiversity.
Organizers: Géza Meszéna, A*ke Bränström, Ulf Dieckmann, Liz Pásztor, András Szilagyi, Gabriella Magyar