Boughman JW (2002) How sensory drive can promote speciation. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 17: 571-577.
Some of the most spectacular and diverse traits in animals are the signals used
to attract mates. Closely related species often differ dramatically in signaling
traits, in spite of similarity in other morphological traits. The idea that
reproductive isolation arises when male mating signals and female preferences
differ among populations is an old one.However, until recently, there was almost
no information on what generates diversity in mating signals and preferences.
This is beginning to change, with emerging results that highlight the importance
of habitat differences in generating this diversity. Such differences in ecology are
at the root of one hypothesis for divergence in sexual signaling – sensory drive.
The sensory drive hypothesis focuses on how communication systems adapt to
local environments and predicts that divergence in communication systems will
occur when environments differ. Reproductive isolation can arise as a byproduct
of this adaptive divergence in behavior.