Allopatric Speciation and Habitat Adaptation – Lab Report Example
The paper "Allopatric Speciation and Habitat Adaptation" is an outstanding example of a lab report on biology.
The purpose of this study is to determine if allopatric speciation i.e. divergence of species occurs because of geographic isolation
Allopatric speciation is the result of the geographical isolation of species due to physical barriers and each separated population adopting specific physical features to suit their new habitat. A good example is the Caribbean Anolis lizards that have varied limb size and shape depending on whether they live on the ground or on trees. (Ref. Losos Laboratory, Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University).
However, there are also cases where two physically isolated populations have not changed morphologically but do not interbreed. Snapping shrimps on either side of the Isthmus that links the North and South American continents are physically similar but the opposite sexes attack, rather than mate when artificially paired. Ref. Nancy Knowlton, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama
It is hypothesized that physical or geographical isolation does not result in allopatric speciation or the creation of distinct species, based on the study by Futuyama and Mayer.
Our experiment was on observing and comparing the diversity in African Buffalo species present in different parts of the African continent.
Results showed that their skin color, body mass (weight) and size has changed to suit their habitat as given in this Table.
Based on this study, we can conclude that geographical isolation results in speciation accompanied by a change in phenotype to match the local requirement. Therefore, our original hypothesis that “physical or geographical isolation does not result in allopatric speciation” has been proved to be incorrect.