Geographic isolation is a term that refers to a population of animals, plants, or other organisms that are separated from exchanging genetic material with other organisms of the same species. Typically geographic isolation is the result of an accident or coincidence.
Geographic isolation can be caused by many factors and can result in a variety of results. Here are some examples:
Isolation by Separation
- An isolated group of beetles on a hill only work, eat and mate with one another. As a result, only genetic material within that small group is exchanged, leading to a less varied beetle population than others that mate with different subgroups.
- A population of brown-haired people is separated from those with other hair colors and, as such, does not mix genetically with populations of any other hair color, leading to a population that is of homogenous brown hair color.
- A small and isolated town contains individuals who do not marry anyone who was not raised in the town, resulting in a less diverse gene pool than a less homogenous population.
Now you have some examples of geographic isolation and can better understand what this concept means and how it exists in the real world.