Forum > Climate change and Global Warming > Evolution and Climate change

Posted by Susan Sharma on July 06, 2006

 

How is it possible for one species to give rise to more than one subsequent species?

One process by which this can occur is through the dividion of a population into two or more smaller populations by a geographical barrier. If the environments of the respective populations differ, different traits will be selected for in each, and the evolution of these populations will follow different courses. As the two groups become isolated from each other, they would stop sharing genes, and eventually genetic differences would increase until members of the groups can no longer interbreed. At this point, they have become separate species and the speciation is complete. Through time, these two species might give rise to new species, and so on through millenia.

 Another process that may give rise to speciation is climate change. When climate changes, species try to follow the climate they are adapted for. Hence they move around the landscape to stay in the same climate space. When they do that, some populations that are left behind might get isolated enough to spur morphological (physical) or genetic changes. One may get a species or population trapped in a region where climate is changing, which would induce a selective force to make them change or become extinct.

 Excerpts from article by Dr.V.B.Kamble

at http://www.vigyanprasar.gov.in

 

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