450 pages, 16 b/w photos, 112 figs, 46 tabs
Provides a quantitative and Darwinian perspective of population processes using mathematical models. To allow students of biology, ecology and evolution to gain a real understanding of the subject, the book gives step-by-step instructions for spreadsheet simulations of many basic equations to explore the outcomes or predictions of models, worked examples showing how the equations are applied to biological questions, and problem sets together with detailed solutions to help readers test their understanding.
"The author does a commendable job synthesizing general theory and empirical work in the diverse field of population biology in a comprehensive yet approachable manner for an undergraduate audience. Nevertheless, this book serves as a well-written and comprehensive introduction to the field that will be a valuable reference in undergraduate classes."
– The Quarterly Review of Biology, Kim T. Scribner
"[...] this book should be a valuable tool for university professors that teach introductory population biology. The breadth of the subjects covered in the book will make it easier for students to refer to one textbook where they can find all the appropriate information [...] It is well written, interesting to read and nicely illustrated [...] The step-by-step instructions for spreadsheet simulations of many of the basic equations should be particularly useful for undergraduate students."
– Ecoscience, Eric T. Reed, Canadian Wildlife Service
Preface; Acknowledgements; Glossary; Part I. Evolution by Natural Selection: 1. Darwin concludes that organisms evolve; 2. Darwin's theories of evolution; 3. Understanding natural selection; Part II. Simple Population Growth Models and Their Simulation: 4. Density-independent growth and overproduction; 5. Density-dependent growth and the logistic growth model; Part III. Population Genetics and Evolution: 6. Gene frequencies and the Hardy-Weinberg Principle; 7. Mutation and the genetic variation of populations; 8. Small populations, genetic drift and inbreeding; 9. Migration, gene flow and the differentiation of populations; 10. Quantifying natural selection: haploid and zygotic selection models; 11. Applying zygotic selection models to natural systems; 12. Polygenic inheritance, quantitative genetics and heritability; 13. Population genetics: summary and synthesis; Part IV. Demography: 14. Life tables and age-specific death rates; 15. Age-specific reproduction and population growth rates; 16. Evolution of life histories; Part V. Interactions Between Species, and the Behaviour of Individuals: 17. Interspecific competition and amensalism; 18. Predation; 19. Animal behaviour, natural selection and altruistic traits; 20. Sexual selection and mating systems; 21 Epilogue; References; Solutions to problems; Index.
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Dick Neal is Professor of Biology, and Associate Dean (Science) in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Saskatchewan.