794 pages, 25 b/w photos, 201 b/w illustrations, tables
Developmental Plasticity and Evolution is 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 behaviour, genetics, endocrinology, molecular biology, evolutionary theory and phylogenetics to show the connections between developmental mechanisms and evolutionary change. Developmental Plasticity and Evolution 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 behavioural development and psychological adaptation, where plasticity is mediated by genetically complex mechanisms like hormones and learning. Developmental Plasticity and Evolution 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. Developmental Plasticity and Evolution 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 Developmental Plasticity and Evolution 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.
"No other treatment of development and evolution since Darwin's offers such a comprehensive and critical discussion of the relevant issues [...] The arguments of this book call for a new view of the major themes of evolutionary biology. [...] 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. [...] This book solves key problems that have impeded a definitive sythesis in the past. [...] The first comprehensive synthesis on development and evolution."
- Ethology Ecology & Evolution
Part 1: Framework for a Synthesis
1. Gaps and Inconsistencies in Modern Evolutionary Thought
2. Material for a Synthesis
3. The Nature of the Phenotype: Plasticity
4. The Nature of the Phenotype: Modularity
6. Adaptive Evolution
7. General Principles of Development and Evolution
8. Darwin's Theory of Development and Evolution
Part 2: The Origins of Novelty
9. The Nature and Analysis of Phenotype Transitions
15. Cross-sexual Transfer
16. Correlated Shifts in Quantitative Traits
17. Combinational Evolution at the Molecular Level
18. Phenotypic Recombination by Learning
19. Recurrent Phenotypes
Part 3: Alternative Phenotypes
20. Alternative Pheontypes as a Phase of Evolution
21. Divergence without Speciation
22. Maintenance without Equilibrium
Part 4: Developmental Plasticity and the Major Themes of Evolutionary Biology
26. Environmental Modifications
28. Adaptive Radiation
31. One Final Word: Sex
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