Saltation, or saltatory evolution, refers to the abrupt production of new forms of life. This section will list and explain various well-known genetic processes that produce new forms in a saltatory manner and give examples of each. I call evolutionary mechanisms of this sort stablization processes because they all produce new stable genetic states. Stabilization processes differ from many of the processes described in the evolutionary scenarios of neo-Darwinian theory, not only qualitatively, but also in that they are far better documented — For each kind of stabilization process, there are definite, well-known examples of new types of organisms being so produced. Before listing these processes, it will be necessary to introduce some additional terminology.
Apomixis. A very common form of reproduction is apomixis, in which fertilization does not occur. It stands in contrast to the life cycle of sexual forms undergoing alternation of generations. There are two main types of apomictic reproduction, agamospermy and vegetative reproduction (Figure 4.1).