The process of speciation is the formation of a new species. Speciation can occur in a number of different ways; geographic isolation, divergent evolution, and reproductive isolation



Geographic Isolation

When two populations are separated by geographic barriers (rivers, mountains, bodies of water) the geographic isolation occurs. When they separate, separate gene pools are formed. Genetic changes in one group are not passed to another. Species will adapt to their new surroundings, resulting in new species all together.

The Grand Canyon, a prime example of a geographic barrier
The Grand Canyon, a prime example of a geographic barrier



Divergent Evolution

When species in a population diverges into two separate species, and these species adapt differently and are naturally selected in different ways over time, divergent evolution is said to have taken place.

These two boars have diverged from a single species
These two boars have diverged from a single species



Reproductive Isolation

When a population splits into two groups, the changes cannot be passed, and because these two populations can no longer interbreed, reproductive isolation has occurred. This can make a species evolve into two separate species.

The lighter coloured bees are no longer breeding with the darker coloured bees, making them reproductively isolated from each other.
The lighter coloured bees are no longer breeding with the darker coloured bees, making them reproductively isolated from each other.




Significance

The introduction of new species is important as other species could benefit from the newly formed species. This also provides variation over time as a result of evolution, and lets the Earth have a lot of biodiversity in its wildlife.