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Organization of Insect Societies: From Genome to Sociocomplexity

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Overview

In this landmark volume, an international group of scientists has synthesized their collective expertise and insight into a newly unified vision of insect societies and what they can reveal about how sociality has arisen as an evolutionary strategy.

Jürgen Gadau and Jennifer Fewell have assembled leading researchers from the fields of molecular biology, evolutionary genetics, neurophysiology, behavioral ecology, and evolutionary theory to reexamine the question of sociality in insects. Recent advances in social complexity theory and the sequencing of the honeybee genome ensure that this book will be valued by anyone working on sociality in insects. At the same time, the theoretical ideas presented will be of broad-ranging significance to those interested in social evolution and complex systems.

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Editorial Reviews

Choice

The book's 26 chapters, written by leading scientists in various fields, present the latest conceptual trends in insect sociobiology...They clearly illustrate the advances concerning the nature and evolutionary origin of transitions across levels of organization which are relevant to the discipline, and reexamine the issue of the origin of sociality in various insect groups. The concepts and insights explored make this volume invaluable to anyone working/interested in the study of sociality in insects.
— J. M. Gonzalez

From The Foreword By Edward O. Wilson
A major theme of biology in the present century, perhaps the major theme, is the nature and evolutionary origin of the transitions across levels of organization. The most transparent of the transitions, greater than that for example from molecule to cell or species to ecosystem, is organism to superorganism, the level reached when societies are tightly bound by altruism and division of labor. One of the major advances of the half century has been the demonstration, well illustrated in the present volume, of how the transition is made through the emergence of colony-level traits…The authors of each chapter of Organization of Insect Societies: From Genome to Sociocomplexity are among the most productive researchers on the subjects they address. The overall picture they assemble is of a discipline that has grown exponentially during the past half century, and at publication time shows no sign of slacking off. The book is thus at once a history, a dispatch from the research front, and a vision as accurate as can be made of future advances in the study of social insects."
from the Foreword by E. O. Wilson
Choice - J. M. Gonzalez
The book's 26 chapters, written by leading scientists in various fields, present the latest conceptual trends in insect sociobiology...They clearly illustrate the advances concerning the nature and evolutionary origin of transitions across levels of organization which are relevant to the discipline, and reexamine the issue of the origin of sociality in various insect groups. The concepts and insights explored make this volume invaluable to anyone working/interested in the study of sociality in insects.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674031258
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 2/15/2009
  • Pages: 640
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Jürgen Gadau is Assistant Professor of Life Sciences, Arizona State University.

Jennifer Fewell is Associate Professor of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, and Co-Director of the Center for Social Dynamics and Complexity.

Edward O. Wilson is Pellegrino University Professor, Emeritus, at Harvard University. In addition to two Pulitzer Prizes (one of which he shares with Bert Hölldobler), Wilson has won many scientific awards, including the National Medal of Science and the Crafoord Prize of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

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Table of Contents

  • Foreword by E. O. Wilson
  • Acknowledgments


  1. I. Transitions in Social Evolution
    Introduction by Jürgen Gadau
  2. The Evolution of Social Insect Mating Systems Jacobus J. Boomsma, Daniel J. C. Kronauer, and Jes S. Pedersen
  3. The Evolution of Queen Numbers in Ants: From One to Many and Back Jürgen Heinze and Susanne Foitzik
  4. Aging of Social Insects Olav Rueppell
  5. The Ecological Setting of Social Evolution: The Demography of Ant Populations Blaine J. Cole
  6. Control of Termite Caste Differentiation Colin S. Brent
  7. Termites: An Alternative Road to Eusociality and the Importance of Group Benefits in Social Insects Judith Korb
  8. The Evolution of Communal Behavior in Bees and Wasps: An Alternative to Eusociality William T. Wcislo and Simon M. Tierney

  9. II. Communication
    Introduction by Tomas D. Seeley
  10. Cue Diversity and Social Recognition Michael D. Breed and Robert Buchwald
  11. Adaptations in the Olfactory System of Social Hymenoptera Christoph J. Kleineidam and Wolfgang Rössler
  12. Fertility Signaling as a General Mechanism of Regulating Reproductive Division of Labor in Ants Christian Peeters and Jürgen Liebig
  13. Vibrational Signals in Social Wasps: A Role in Caste Determination? Robert L. Jeanne
  14. Convergent Evolution of Food Recruitment Mechanism in Bees and Wasps James C. Nieh
  15. The Organization of Social Foraging in Ants: Energetics and Communication Flavio Roces

  16. III. Neurogenetic Basis of Social Behavior
    Introduction by Robert E. Page Jr.
  17. Behavioral Genetics in Social Insects Greg J. Hunt and Jürgen Gadau
  18. Sensory Thresholds, Learning, and the Division of Foraging Labor in the Honeybee Ricarda Scheiner and Joachim Erber
  19. Social Life from Solitary Regulatory Networks: A Paradigm for Insect Sociality Robert E. Page Jr., Timothy A. Linksvayer, and Gro V. Amdam
  20. Social Brains and Behavior, Past and Present Wulfila Gronenberg and Andre J. Riveros
  21. Plasticity in the Circadian Clock and the Temporal Organization of Insect Societies Guy Bloch

  22. IV. Theoretical Perspectives on Social Organization
    Introduction by Jennifer Fewell
  23. The Dawn of a Golden Age in Mathematical Insect Sociobiology Nigel R. Franks, Anna Dornhaus, James A.ºR. Marshall, and Francois-Xavier Dechaume Moncharmont
  24. Positive Feedback, Convergent Collective Patterns, and Social Transitions in Arthropods Raphaël Jeanson and Jean-Louis Deneubourg
  25. Division of Labor in the Context of Complexity Jennifer Fewell, Shana K. Schmidt, and Thomas Taylor
  26. Insect Societies as Models for Collective Decision-Making Stephen Pratt
  27. From Social Behavior to Molecules: Models and Modules in the Middle Gene E. Robinson and Andrew B. Barron
  28. Social Insects as Models in Epidemiology: Establishing the Foundation for an Interdisciplinary Approach to Disease and Sociality Nina H. Fefferman and James F.ºA. Traniello
  29. Social Insects and the Individuality Thesis: Cohesion and the Colony as a Selectable Individual Andrew Hamilton, Nathan R. Smith, and Matthew H. Haber
  30. Social Insects, Evo-Devo, and the Novelty Problem: The Advantage of “Natural Experiments” Sensu Boveri Jürgen Gadau and Manfred Laubichler

  • Index

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