Why do reproductive barriers cause speciation?

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Tj789
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Report Thread starter 7 years ago
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If individuals cannot interbreed, then their genes cannot be mixed with part of the population. This means that if advantageous mutations arise in one section of the population, then they cannot be passed on to the population as a whole, but only via those who can successfully mate, so the allele frequency changes within the two breeding populations. Eventually, in the same way that geographical separation can lead to speciation, the individuals of the two breeding populations may have changed enough to no longer be considered the same species. This may be a slower process however, as, assuming that the populations still live in close proximity, they are likely to be exposed to the same environmental factors, so interspecific competition would be most influential. I hope this makes sense.
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