Speciation in the new millennium: What's left to know?
The last few decades have seen a surge of interest in speciation, the genetic changes underlying it, and the evolutionary forces driving it. As with most disciplines, however, the nature of the questions addressed has changed with time. Many studies from the 1980s and 1990s often asked questions about whether certain processes ever occur in nature (e.g., speciation with gene flow). Since that time, case studies have provided evidence that nearly all evolutionary processes thought to be involved in speciation have occurred at least once. As a result, we are now in a new era where the "big questions" must go beyond demonstrations that a phenomenon has happened at least once. Here we discuss a few open questions in speciation- questions that we feel are not only exciting but tractable. We focus our discussion most sharply on recent studies in Drosophila and related species, the area of our expertise. However, we also emphasize the importance of broad taxonomic meta-analyses testing the importance or frequency of various processes thought to cause speciation.
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