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Mechanisms that interfere with the generation or propagation of progeny that are products of matings and hybridization such as can occur between evolutionary divergent populations of organisms.
Reproductive barriers can be distinguished into what are known as prezygotic barriers versus postzybotic barriers. Another name for reproductive barrier is reproductive isolating mechanism.
The presence of reproductive barriers is crucial both in defining what it is to be a species and how the process of speciation occurs. See also reproductive isolation.
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