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The Role of Geographical Barriers in Speciation: You will need to write a report discussing the role large geographic barriers in the process of evolution and speciation using specific examples.

The Role of Geographical Barriers in Speciation
Paper instructions:
REMEMBER TO KEEP TO THE ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
Assessment Criteria:
1. Discussion of the role of geographic barriers in evolutionary processes (20%)
2. Analysis of a range of relevant examples of geographic barriers and their role in evolutionary processes (60%)
3. A clear and reasoned conclusion (10%)
4. Identification of relevant texts which the report will refer to using the Harvard referencing system (10%)

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Learning Outcomes:
5. Critically analyse the key spatial and temporal patterns of biodiversity
Assignment Title: The Role of Geographical Barriers in Speciation
Rationale: Geographical barriers are important for evolution. They prevent geneflow between populations and may under suitable environmental conditions and timescale produce speciation events. For example, the Isthmus of Panama has separated populations of aquatic organisms and allowed independent evolution over millions of years. Similarly the Eastern Pacific Barrier has prevented reproduction of populations of many less mobile organisms.
You will need to write a report discussing the role large geographic barriers in the process of evolution and speciation using specific examples.
Reference relevant sources using the Harvard Referencing system appropriate to the assignment handbook.
Assessment Criteria:
1. Discussion of the role of geographic barriers in evolutionary processes (20%)
2. Analysis of a range of relevant examples of geographic barriers and their role in evolutionary processes (60%)
3. A clear and reasoned conclusion (10%)
4. Identification of relevant texts which the report will refer to using the Harvard referencing system (10%)
Word count: 1500 words
Format: All text should be fully justified, with 1.5 line spacing. Include assignment brief, contents page, summary, introduction and conclusion. Reference relevant sources using Harvard Referencing system appropriate to the assignment handbook. Refer to your Assignment Handbook for further guidance.
Indicative reading:
Texts
Begon, M. Harper, J. & Townsend, C. (2005) Ecology: Individuals, Populations, Communities. Oxford: Blackwell Science
Cox, C.B. & Moore, P.D (1999) Biogeography: An Ecological and Evolutionary Approach. John Wiley & Sons
Journals & articles
Baums, I.B, Boulay, J.N, Polato, N.R & Hellberg, M.E. (2012) No gene flow across the Eastern Pacific Barrier in the reef-building coral Porites lobata. Molecular Ecology 21: 5418–5433
Gaither, M.R, Toonen, R.J, Robertson, D.R, Planes, S, Bowen, B.W. (2010) Genetic evaluation of marine biogeographical barriers: perspectives from two widespread Indo-Pacific snappers (Lutjanus kasmira and Lutjanus fulvus). Journal of Biogeography 37 133–147
Grigg, R.W. & Her, R. (1992) Paleoceanography of the Tropical Eastern Pacific Ocean. Science Vol. 255 no. 5041 pp. 172-178
Johnson, K.P. (2011) The Central American land bridge as an engine of diversification in New World doves. Journal of Biogeography. 38 (6): 1069-1076
Karr, J.R.(1982) Population Variability and Extinction in the Avifauna of a Tropical Land Bridge Island Ecology 63 (6): 1975-1978
Lessios, H.A. (2012) A sea water barrier to coral gene flow. Molecular Ecology 21: 5390-5392
Rocha, L.A. & Bowen, B.W. (2008). Speciation in Coral Reef Fishes. Journal of Fish Biology 72 (5) 1101-1121.
Steeves, T.E, Anderson, D.J & Friesen, V.L. (2005). The Isthmus of Panama: a major physical barrier to gene flow in a highly mobile pantropical seabird. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 18 (4) 1000-1008.

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