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Review ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Ecol. Evol. | doi: 10.3389/fevo.2019.00348

Insect hybridization and climate change

  • 1University of Denver, United States
  • 2University of Colorado Boulder, United States

Contemporary global change is altering ecosystems at an unprecedented pace and scale. This critical period is a crisis for biodiversity, but the perturbations caused by global environmental change also offer new opportunities to study the evolution of species boundaries—their persistence, formation, or collapse—over rapid evolutionary timescales. Increasing temperature means and fluctuations have the potential to alter gene flow between species through changes in species distributions, interactions, life history, and temperature-dependent behavior. This is particularly true for insects, whose geographic ranges, behaviors and life history traits are temperature dependent. Here, we review the potential for climate change to influence gene flow and species boundaries between closely related insect species. We focus on studies that have tracked changes in climate and insect distributions and/or have evaluated temperature dependent reproductive barriers between species.

Keywords: speciation, Temporal isolation, range expansion, hybrid zone, mate choice

Received: 24 Apr 2019; Accepted: 02 Sep 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Larson, Tinghitella and Taylor. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Erica L. Larson, University of Denver, Denver, United States, erica.larson@du.edu