DOI: 10.1007/s10144-015-0488-z

The importance of reproductive interference in ecology and evolution: from organisms to communities

1. Department of Biological Sciences, Southwestern Oklahoma State University, Weatherford, OK, USA

Correspondence to:
Rickey Cothran
Email: rickey.cothran@swosu.edu

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Abstract

Knowledge of species interactions is vital to understand ecological and evolutionary patterns in nature. Traditional species interactions (e.g., competition, predation, symbiosis) have received a great deal of deserved attention and their general importance in shaping the evolution of populations and structure of communities is unquestioned. Recently, reproductive interference has been receiving attention as an important species interaction. Reproductive interference is defined as interspecific reproductive activities that decrease the fitness of at least one of the species involved in the interaction. Reproductive interference has the potential to affect the evolutionary trajectories of populations and structure of communities. Here, I comment on seven papers that make up this special feature on reproductive interference. Along the way I highlight key discoveries of these studies and areas of research that may contribute to our understanding of the causes and consequences of reproductive interference.

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