The main key points of the article are the evolutionary changes in a group of species caused by the thermal environment. The author’s primary goal is to identify whether different climate and temperature have a significant effect on the ecological speciation. In this article, the Plestiodon skiltonianus and P. gilberti species are taken as the example with which the further experiments are conducted. According to the article, in order to identify the effects of the climatic niche in this particular group, the authors use the quantitative research method. As a result, this kind of species becomes accustomed to the warm environment. In this case, their chains of genes change and transform in order to get used to the new surroundings. Eventually, after a few years, the reproductive system will also adapt to the new environment and hence produce species accustomed to it. The final results showed that both P. gilberti and P. skiltonianus developed a range of changes in body size and environmental characteristic.
Ecological speciation happens in the situation in which there is a prevalence of a particular thermal environment. In this case, there is a high possibility that a natural selection will occur. In fact, it causes significant changes in genes, which will demonstrate a higher level of adaptation to this kind of the environment. Shorty, all natural species have the tendency to adapt to the particular climate by which they are surrounded. Their further development will also occur depending on the thermal environment. The authors use the niche method, which can be defined as the combination of the different variables that examine the characteristics of development and reproduction in the particular environment. It also aims to study the changes which occur in genes of these species. In fact, both environmental conditions and resources set limits to reproduction, survival, and growth of the organisms.
Mechanistic niche models aim to examine the changes in physiological functions and life history data caused by different temperatures and other crucial circumstances that may set limits. The experiment was conducted on two groups of species such as P. gilberti and P. skiltonianus. The final results showed that (Wogan & Richmond, 2015) “the degree of climatic niche divergence among species was substantially greater than expected given the differences in the background environment, supporting niche divergence” (p. 4687). The authors came to the following conclusion; the niches of P. gilberti to P. skiltonianus are affected by the different climate parameters. In fact, it was found that during the active months the niches were significantly differentiated. In the situation in which species are developed in different climates, there is a high chance that they will develop the ecological speciation. Therefore, it is evident that the temperature has a great impact on the reproductive and developmental systems, for example, in the warm environment; it is more probable that the group of species will become more resistible to heat.
The final results showed that the temperature has a great impact on the size of the xeric habitats. However, due to the fact that the results of the experiment are incomplete, it is recommended that the further research be conducted. Despite of the incomplete final results, comparing these findings with the previous one, it is possible to state with confidence that the climate and environment have an effect on the further development of P. gilberti and P. skiltonianus species.
Wogan, G., & Richmond, J. (2015). Niche divergence builds the case for ecological speciation in skinks of the Plestiodon skiltonianus species complex. Ecol Evol, 5(20), 4683-4695. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ece3.1610