Dos and don'ts of testing the geographic mosaic theory of coevolution

R. Gomulkiewicz, D. M. Drown, M. F. Dybdahl, W. Godsoe, S. L. Nuismer, K. M. Pepin, B. J. Ridenhour, C. I. Smith, J. B. Yoder

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

99 Scopus citations

Abstract

The geographic mosaic theory of coevolution is stimulating much new research on interspecific interactions. We provide a guide to the fundamental components of the theory, its processes and main predictions. Our primary objectives are to clarify misconceptions regarding the geographic mosaic theory of coevolution and to describe how empiricists can test the theory rigorously. In particular, we explain why confirming the three main predicted empirical patterns (spatial variation in traits mediating interactions among species, trait mismatching among interacting species and few species-level coevolved traits) does not provide unequivocal support for the theory. We suggest that strong empirical tests of the geographic mosaic theory of coevolution should focus on its underlying processes: coevolutionary hot and cold spots, selection mosaics and trait remixing. We describe these processes and discuss potential ways each can be tested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-258
Number of pages10
JournalHeredity
Volume98
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2007

Keywords

  • Cold spot
  • Hot spot
  • Local maladaptation
  • Selection mosaic
  • Trait remixing

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    Gomulkiewicz, R., Drown, D. M., Dybdahl, M. F., Godsoe, W., Nuismer, S. L., Pepin, K. M., Ridenhour, B. J., Smith, C. I., & Yoder, J. B. (2007). Dos and don'ts of testing the geographic mosaic theory of coevolution. Heredity, 98(5), 249-258. https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.hdy.6800949