A recent Perspectives article by Gavrilets (2003) on the theory of speciation ignored advances in understanding processes of adaptive speciation, in which the splitting of lineages is an adaptation caused by frequency-dependent selection. Adaptive, or sympatric, speciation has been modeled since the 1960s, but the large amount of attention from both empirical and theoretical biologists that adaptive speciation has received in recent years goes far beyond what was described in Gavrilets' paper. Due to conceptual advances based on the theory of adaptive dynamics, adaptive speciation has emerged as a theoretically plausible evolutionary process that can occur in many different ecological settings.
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Vol. 59 • No. 3