Selection: The Mechanism of Evolution / Edition 2

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Overview


This book adopts an experimental approach to understanding the mechanisms of evolution and the nature of evolutionary processes, with examples drawn from microbial, plant and animal systems. It incorporates insights from remarkable recent advances in theoretical modelling, and the fields of molecular genetics and environmental genomics.

Adaptation is caused by selection continually winnowing the genetic variation created by mutation. In the last decade, our knowledge of how selection operates on populations in the field and in the laboratory has increased enormously, and the principal aim of this book is to provide an up-to-date account of selection as the principal agent of evolution. In the classical Fisherian model, weak selection acting on many genes of small effect over long periods of time is responsible for driving slow and gradual change. However, it is now clear that adaptation in laboratory populations often involves strong selection acting on a few genes of large effect, while in the wild selection is often strong and highly variable in space and time. Indeed these results are changing our perception of how evolutionary change takes place. This book summarizes our current understanding of the causes and consequences of selection, with an emphasis on quantitative and experimental studies. It includes the latest research into experimental evolution, natural selection in the wild, artificial selection, selfish genetic elements, selection in social contexts, sexual selection, and speciation.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"An outstanding book belonging on every science shelf."--Choice, 2008 Vol. 45 No. 11

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198569732
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 2/15/2009
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 576
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Graham Bell is a professor of biology at McGill University in Montreal. He has published many articles on ecology and evolution, and three books: The Masterpiece of Nature (1982), Sex and Death in Protozoa (1988) and Selection (1996).

Books by the same author:
Selection, second edition, 2007
The Basics of Selection, 1996

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Table of Contents

The second science

1 Simple selection 1

2 The genetic and ecological context of selection 20

3 Natural selection in closed asexual populations 55

4 Prometheus Unbound: releasing the constraints on natural selection 130

5 Selection in multicellular organisms 162

6 Artificial selection 186

7 Natural selection in open populations 222

8 Adaptive radiation: diversity and specialization 265

9 Autoselection: selfish genetic elements 308

10 Social selection 331

11 Co-evolution 380

12 Sexual selection 418

13 Speciation 462

14 Epitome 492

References 500

Index 547

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