Adaptive radiation

Definition

Adaptive radiation is the process by which a single lineage undergoes multiple speciation events to fill divergent ecological niches. This results in a cluster of phenotypically distinct, related species and often occurs after a physical disturbance or extinction event opens up new niches for exploitation.

Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    According to an innovative exercise in 'morphospace analysis', modern fish owe their stunning diversity in part to an ecological cleaning of the slate by the mass extinction at the end of the Cretaceous.

    • Michael Alfaro
    •  & Francesco Santini
    Nature 464, 840–842
  • News and Views |

    An electrifying evolutionary radiation has evidently occurred among elephant fish in Africa's Ivindo basin. An implication is that open niches for communication can result in species diversification.

    • Manuel Leal
    •  & Jonathan B. Losos
    Nature 467, 159–160