Testing for coevolutionary diversification: Linking pattern with process

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107 Scopus citations


Coevolutionary diversification is cited as a major mechanism driving the evolution of diversity, particularly in plants and insects. However, tests of coevolutionary diversification have focused on elucidating macroevolutionary patterns rather than the processes giving rise to such patterns. Hence, there is weak evidence that coevolution promotes diversification. This is in part due to a lack of understanding about the mechanisms by which coevolution can cause speciation and the difficulty of integrating results across micro- and macroevolutionary scales. In this review, we highlight potential mechanisms of coevolutionary diversification, outline approaches to examine this process across temporal scales, and propose a set of minimal requirements for demonstrating coevolutionary diversification. Our aim is to stimulate research that tests more rigorously for coevolutionary diversification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)82-89
Number of pages8
JournalTrends in Ecology and Evolution
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2014


  • Coevolution
  • Divergent selection
  • Macroevolution
  • Microevolution
  • Reproductive isolation
  • Speciation
  • Species interactions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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