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Population divergence in chemical signals and the potential for premating isolation between islet- and mainland populations of the Skyros wall lizard (Podarcis gaigeae).

  • Anna Runemark
  • M Gabirot
  • Erik Svensson
Publishing year: 2011
Language: English
Pages: 795-809
Publication/Series: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Volume: 24
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

Abstract english

When sexually selected traits diverge because of different local selective environments, premating isolation might arise as a correlated response. However, sexually selected traits might also diverge by stochastic forces. Here, we show that odour-based mate preferences and scent composition have diverged between islet- and mainland populations of Skyros wall lizard, Podarcis gaigeae. We quantified the degree of scent-mediated premating isolation between populations. Islet lizards preferred scent from islet lizards, whereas the mainland populations were less discriminatory. The pheromone compositions differed more between islets than between islet- and mainland populations and did not differ significantly between mainland populations. There was a tendency for population divergence in pheromones to be positively correlated with neutral genetic divergence. This might indicate a role for genetic drift in evolutionary change in these signals and partial decoupling between signals and preferences. Our results suggest that chemical signals and associated mate preferences can diverge through stochastic and selective forces and influence premating isolation.


  • Biological Sciences
  • behavioural isolation
  • founder effects
  • island biology
  • mate preferences
  • pheromones
  • reinforcement


  • ISSN: 1420-9101
E-mail: erik [dot] svensson [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se


Evolutionary ecology

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