Developmental Plasticity and Evolution / Edition 1

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The first comprehensive synthesis on development and evolution: it applies to all aspects of development, at all levels of organization and in all organisms, taking advantage of modern findings on behavior, genetics, endocrinology, molecular biology, evolutionary theory and phylogenetics to show the connections between developmental mechanisms and evolutionary change. This book solves key problems that have impeded a definitive synthesis in the past. It uses new concepts and specific examples to show how to relate environmentally sensitive development to the genetic theory of adaptive evolution and to explain major patterns of change. In this book development includes not only embryology and the ontogeny of morphology, sometimes portrayed inadequately as governed by "regulatory genes," but also behavioral development and physiological adaptation, where plasticity is mediated by genetically complex mechanisms like hormones and learning. The book shows how the universal qualities of phenotypes—modular organization and plasticity—facilitate both integration and change. Here you will learn why it is wrong to describe organisms as genetically programmed; why environmental induction is likely to be more important in evolution than random mutation; and why it is crucial to consider both selection and developmental mechanism in explanations of adaptive evolution. This book satisfies the need for a truly general book on development, plasticity and evolution that applies to living organisms in all of their life stages and environments. Using an immense compendium of examples on many kinds of organisms, from viruses and bacteria to higher plants and animals, it shows how the phenotype is reorganized during evolution to produce novelties, and how alternative phenotypes occupy a pivotal role as a phase of evolution that fosters diversification and speeds change. The arguments of this book call for a new view of the major themes of evolutionary biology, as shown in chapters on gradualism, homology, environmental induction, speciation, radiation, macroevolution, punctuation, and the maintenance of sex. No other treatment of development and evolution since Darwin's offers such a comprehensive and critical discussion of the relevant issues. Developmental Plasticity and Evolution is designed for biologists interested in the development and evolution of behavior, life-history patterns, ecology, physiology, morphology and speciation. It will also appeal to evolutionary paleontologists, anthropologists, psychologists, and teachers of general biology.

The Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division of the AAP awarded Developmental Plasticity and Evolution by Mary Jane West-Eberhard (Oxford) the R.R. Hawkins Award for the Outstanding Professional, Reference or Scholarly Work of 2003.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This book does not propose a radical departure from current evolutionary theory; rather it is a truly novel synthesis of evolutionary and developmental biology that is sure to profoundly affect the way biologists view the natural world. A must-read for any serious student of evolution and a must-have for any biological literature collection."—Choice
From the Publisher

"This book does not propose a radical departure from current evolutionary theory; rather it is a truly novel synthesis of evolutionary and developmental biology that is sure to profoundly affect the way biologists view the natural world. A must-read for any serious student of evolution and a must-have for any biological literature collection."--Choice

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195122350
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 3/13/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 816
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Part I - Framework for a Synthesis
1. Gaps and Inconsistencies in Modern Evolutionary Thought
2. Material for a Synthesis
3. Plasticity
4. Modularity
5. Development
6. Adaptive Evolution
7. Principles of Development and Evolution
8. Darwin's Theory of Development and Evolution
Part II - The Origins of Novelty
9. The Nature and Analysis of Phenotypic Transitions
10. Duplication
11. Deletion
12. Reversion
13. Heterochrony
14. Heterotopy
15. Cross-sexual Transfer
16. Quantitative Shifts in Correlated Change
17. Combinatorial Evolution at the Molecular Level
18. Phenotypic Recombination by Learning
19. Recurrence
Part III - Alternative Phenotypes
20. Alternative Phenotypes as a Phase of Evolution
21. Divergence without Speciation
22. Maintenance without Equilibrium
23. Assessment
Part IV - Developmental Plasticity and the Major Themes of Evolutionary Biology
24. Gradualism
25. Homology
26. Environmental Modifications
27. Speciation
28. Adaptive Radiation
29. Macroevolution
30. Punctuation
31. One Final Word: Sex

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