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Ecology and Evolution of Poeciliid Fishes

Edited By: Jonathan P Evans, Andrea Pilastro and Ingo Schlupp

409 pages, b/w photos, b/w illustrations, tables

University of Chicago Press

Hardback | Aug 2011 | #189776 | ISBN-13: 9780226222745
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NHBS Price: £68.99 $91/€78 approx

About this book

The history of biology is populated by numerous model species or organisms. But few vertebrate groups have aided evolutionary and ecological research more than the live-bearing fishes of the family Poeciliidae. Found throughout tropical and subtropical waters, poeciliids exhibit a fascinating variety of reproductive specializations, including viviparity, matrotrophy, unisexual reproduction, and alternative mating strategies, making them ideal models for research on patterns and processes in ecology, behavior, and evolution.

"Ecology and Evolution of Poeciliid Fishes" is a much-needed overview of the scientific potential and understanding of these live-bearing fishes. Chapters by leading researchers take up a wide range of topics, including the evolution of unisexual reproduction, life in extreme environments, life-history evolution, and genetics.

This book is an incredible compilation and contribution on the Poeciliidae, which are among the most studied fishes in the world. The coverage is well organized into twenty-seven relevant and informative chapters by cutting-edge scientists. This work will be eagerly awaited by poeciliid and non-poeciliid researchers. There are many topics that will be of interest to the ichthyological community and other vertebrate biologists, as well. - Robert C. Cashner, University of New Orleans

"Ecological and evolutionary study of the poeciliid fishes has exploded over the past two decades, inspired in large part by the 1989 volume edited by Meffe and Snelson. Now, Jonathan P. Evans, Andrea Pilastro, and Ingo Schlupp have brought together insightful syntheses of recent advances in a wide range of topics in poeciliid evolution, ecology, and reproductive biology. The 'future directions' sections alone of these chapters will be of immense value in inspiring research in coming decades and should be required reading for beginning researchers."
- Anne E. Houde, Lake Forest College


Part I. Reproductive Biology and Life History
1 Gonads, genitals, and reproductive biology
2 Matrotrophy
3 Variation and evolution of reproductive strategies
4 Ecological drivers of life-history divergence
5 Evolution of unisexual reproduction

Part II. Evolutionary Ecology
6 Evolutionary and plastic responses to resource availability
7 Sensory ecology
8 Poeciliid parasites
9 Community assembly and mode of reproduction: predicting the distribution of livebearing fishes
10 Speciation and hybridization
11 Living in extreme environments
12 Evolutionary conservation biology

Part III. Behavior and Cognition
13 Group living
14 Innovation and social learning
15 Cognition
16 Predation risk and decision making in poeciliid prey

Part IV. Sexual Selection
17 Precopulatory sexual selection
18 Postcopulatory sexual selection
19 Sexual coercion
20 Information societies: communication networks and sexual selection
21 Genital evolution

Part V. Genetics
22 Genetic variation in natural populations
23 Genetics of male guppy color patterns
24 A primer of sex determination
25 Evolutionary genetics and molecular ecology of the major histocompatability complex genes
26 Oncogenetics

Part VI. Conclusions
27 Integrative commentary on Ecology and Evolution of Poeciliid Fishes

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Jonathan P. Evans is a research fellow at the University of Western Australia's Centre for Evolutionary Biology.

Andrea Pilastro is associate professor of zoology at the University of Padova.

Ingo Schlupp is associate professor of zoology at the University of Oklahoma and adjunct professor of integrative biology at the University of Texas at Austin.

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