Fitness Landscapes and the Origin of Species (MPB-41)

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Overview

The origin of species has fascinated both biologists and the general public since the publication of Darwin's Origin of Species in 1859. Significant progress in understanding the process was achieved in the "modern synthesis," when Theodosius Dobzhansky, Ernst Mayr, and others reconciled Mendelian genetics with Darwin's natural selection. Although evolutionary biologists have developed significant new theory and data about speciation in the years since the modern synthesis, this book represents the first systematic attempt to summarize and generalize what mathematical models tell us about the dynamics of speciation.

Fitness Landscapes and the Origin of Species presents both an overview of the forty years of previous theoretical research and the author's new results. Sergey Gavrilets uses a unified framework based on the notion of fitness landscapes introduced by Sewall Wright in 1932, generalizing this notion to explore the consequences of the huge dimensionality of fitness landscapes that correspond to biological systems.

In contrast to previous theoretical work, which was based largely on numerical simulations, Gavrilets develops simple mathematical models that allow for analytical investigation and clear interpretation in biological terms. Covering controversial topics, including sympatric speciation and the effects of sexual conflict on speciation, this book builds for the first time a general, quantitative theory for the origin of species.

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Editorial Reviews

Austral Ecology - Brett Calcott
This is a . . . rich book, full of sober, well-considered insights, and there is a sense of real progress in understanding the variety of situations in which speciation can occur. Any investment in this book is well rewarded.
From the Publisher

"This is a . . . rich book, full of sober, well-considered insights, and there is a sense of real progress in understanding the variety of situations in which speciation can occur. Any investment in this book is well rewarded."--Brett Calcott, Austral Ecology
Austral Ecology
This is a . . . rich book, full of sober, well-considered insights, and there is a sense of real progress in understanding the variety of situations in which speciation can occur. Any investment in this book is well rewarded.
— Brett Calcott
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691119830
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 7/6/2004
  • Series: Monographs in Population Biology Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Sergey Gavrilets is Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Mathematics at the University of Tennessee. His many scientific articles have appeared in "Nature, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Proceedings of the Royal Society of London", and other publications.
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Table of Contents

1 Introduction 1
2 Fitness landscapes 21
3 Steps toward speciation on rugged fitness landscapes 53
4 Nearly neutral networks and holey fitness landscapes 81
5 Speciation in the BDM model 117
6 Multidimensional generalizations of the BDM model 149
7 Spatial patterns in the BDM model 195
8 Maintenance of genetic variation under disruptive natural selection 233
9 Evolution of nonrandom mating and fertilization 279
10 Interaction of disruptive selection and nonrandom mating 331
11 General conclusions 399
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