Allopatric vs Sympatric speciation
The process of origin of new species is called speciation. The formation of new species from existing species can occur in two ways; sympatrically or allopatrically.

Allopatric speciation (‘Allo’: different, ‘patris’: country)
  • Speciation occurs when the population becomes separated by geographical barriers like mountains, rivers etc.
  • Thus the chance of interbreeding between these populations is greatly reduced.
  • Each population acquires mutations by natural selection to adapt to the new environment. After a long time, reproductive isolation sets in separating two populations into two species.
  • Geographical isolation leads to reproductive isolation and speciation.
  • This is the most common form of speciation.

Sympatric speciation (‘Sym’: same or together, ‘patris’: country)
  • It is the formation of two or more species from a single ancestral species all occupying the same geographical area.
  • In sympatric speciation, the populations are not geographically separated.
  • Sympatric speciation often occurs through polyploidy. A diploid individual cannot interbreed with tetraploid individual leading to reproductive isolation.
  • This type of speciation is rare and occurs often in plants as self fertilization and polyploidy is common in plants compared to animals.


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  1. very nicely explained with pictures/diagrams.

  2. understandably and thoroughly

  3. Simple language to understand easily. Thanks 😀

  4. Beautifully explained ..thanks


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