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22 Cards in this Set

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the process by which new species arise, either by transformation of one species into another, or by the splitting of one ancestral species into two descendant species


the differentiation of populations withing a

common geographic area into species


a geographically-defined population or group of populations withing a single species that has

distinctive characteristics

gene pool

all the alleles present in a species

biological species concept

the concept that defines species as groups of populations that have the potential to

interbreed and that are reproductively isolated from other groups

reproductive isolating mechanism

any barrier that prevents genetic exchange

between species

prezygotic isolating mechanism

a type of reproductive isolation in which the

formation of a zygote is prevented; these

mechanisms may range from physical

separation in different habitats to gametic in which gametes are incapable of fusing

postzygotic isolating mechanism

a type of reproductive isolation in which zygotes are produced but are unable to develop into

reproducing adults; these mechanisms may range from inviability of zygotes or embryos to adults that are sterile


chemical substance released by one organism that influences the behavior or physiological processes of another organism of the same species. Some pheromones serve as sex

attractants, as trail markers, and as alarm



the process by which one ancestral species

becomes divided into two descendant species


in speciation, the process by which partial

reproductive isolation between populations is

increased by selection against mating between members of the two populations, eventually

resulting in complete reproductive isolation


the differentiation of geographically isolated populations into distinct species


condition in which one or more entire sets of chromosomes is added to the diploid genome


a polyploid organism that contains a duplicated genome of the same species; may result from a meitotic error


a polyploidy organism that contains the genomes of two or more different species

adaptive radiation

the evolution of several divergent forms from a primitive and unspecialized ancestor

key innovation

a newly evolved trait in a species that allows members to use resources or other aspects of the environment that were previously


character displacement

a process in which natural selection favors

individuals in a species that use resources not used by other species which results in

evolutionary change leading to species dissimilar in resource use


the view that species change very slowly in ways that may be imperceptible from one generation to the next but that accumulate and lead to

major changes over thousands or millions of years


a period of time during which little evolutionary change occurs

punctuated equilibrium

a hypothesis about the mechanism of

evolutionary change proposing that long periods of little or no change are punctuated by periods of rapid evolution

mass extinction

a relatively sudden, sharp decline in the number of species; for example, the extinction at the end of the Cretaceous period in which the dinosaurs and a variety of other organisms disappeared