Pillars of Evolution: Fundamental principles of the eco-evolutionary process

Pillars of Evolution: Fundamental principles of the eco-evolutionary process

by Douglas W. Morris, Per Lundberg


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Pillars of Evolution provides a fresh and provocative perspective on adaptive evolution. Readers new to the study of evolution will find a refreshing new insight that establishes evolutionary biology as a rigorous and predictive science, whilst practicing biologists will discover a provocative book that challenges traditional approaches.

The book begins by leading readers through the mechanics of heredity, reproduction, movement, survival, and development. With that framework in place, it then explores the numerous ways that traits emerge from the interactions between genetics, development, and the environment. The key message is that adaptive changes in traits (and their underlying allelic frequencies) evolve through the traits' functions and their connection with fitness. The complex mappings from genes-to-traits-to-fitness are characterized in the structure of evolution. A single "structure matrix" describes why individuals vary in the values of adaptive traits, their ability to perform the function of those traits, and in the fitness they accrue. Fitness depends on how organisms interact with and perceive their environment in time and space. These relationships are made explicit in spatial, temporal, and organizational scale that also sets the stage for the crucially important role that ecology always plays in evolution. The ecological hallmarks of density- and frequency-dependent interactions allow the authors to explore new and exciting insights into evolution's dynamics. The theories and principles are then brought together in a final synthesis on adaptation.

The book's unique approach unites genetic, development, and environmental influences into a single comprehensive treatment of the eco-evolutionary process.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780198568803
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 09/15/2011
Pages: 296
Product dimensions: 6.60(w) x 9.40(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Douglas Morris is Professor and Lakehead University Research Chair in Northern Studies at Lakehead University, Canada. He obtained his BSc. and MSc. in Biology from the University of Windsor 1974/1976, then a PhD in Biology from the University of Calgary in 1980. He went to on be a NSERC Post-doctoral Fellow at the University of Western Ontario, before being appointed as Associate Professor of Biology at Memorial University of Newfoundland, where he stayed from 1982-1990. As well as his current position at Lakehead University, he is Adjunct Professor of Biology at Laval University. Douglas is former President of the Canadian Society of Zoologists and the Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution. He has served on the Editorial Boards for several journals, including Ecology, Ecological Monographs, and Ecoscience.

Per Lundberg is Professor of Theoretical Ecology at Lund University, Sweden. He received his BSc./Msc. in Biology from Umea University, Sweden in 1980, and then a PhD in Ecological Zoology . He went on to take up a position as Assistant Professor of Wildlife Ecology and Animal Ecology at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences where he worked from 1986 - 1994. He has also held positions as Visiting scientist, Department of Zoology, University of Guelph, Canada (1991), Associate Professor of Theoretical Ecology, Lund University, Sweden, and Center Fellow, National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), Santa Barbara, USA (2002-2003). Per has served on the Editorial boards of Oikos, Evolutionary Ecology, American Naturalist, and Proceedings of the Royal Society B, and was Editor-in-Chief for Oikos from 2004-2009.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Mechanics
3. Function
4. Structure
5. Scale
6. Dynamics
7. Adaptation

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