450 pages, b/w photos, b/w illustrations, tables
How do plant and animal populations change genetically to evolve and adapt to their local environments? How do populations grow and interact with one another through competition and predation? How does behaviour influence ecology and evolution? This second edition of Dick Neal's unique textbook on population biology addresses these questions and offers a comprehensive analysis of evolutionary theory in the areas of ecology, population genetics, and behaviour. Taking a quantitative and Darwinian perspective, Neal uses mathematical models to develop the basic theory of population processes. Key features in this edition include new chapters on inbreeding and species interactions and community structure, a modified structure in Part II, more recent empirical examples to illustrate the application of theoretical models to the world around us, and end-of-chapter problems to help students with self-assessment. A series of spreadsheet simulations have also been conveniently located online, for students to further improve their understanding of such models.
"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
Part I. Evolution by Natural Selection
1. Darwin questions the fixity of species
2. Darwin's evolutionary theories
3. Understanding natural selection
Part II. Population Growth Models:
4. Exponential growth
5. Logistic growth
6. Life tables
7. Growth of age-structured and stage-structured populations
8. Evolution of life histories
Part III. Population Genetics and Evolution
9. The Hardy-Weinberg principle
10. Mutation and the genetic variation of populations
11. Genetic drift and effective population size
13. Migration, gene flow and differentiation of populations
14. Haploid and zygotic selection
15. Applying zygotic selection models to natural systems
16. Polygenic inheritance and quantitative genetics
17. Population genetics: summary and synthesis
Part IV. Interactions between Species and Community Structure
18. Interspecific competition
19. Predator-prey interactions
20. Species interactions and community structure
Part V. Animal Behaviour, Altruism, and Sexual Selection
21. Animal behaviour, altruism, and limiting aggression
22. Sexual selection and mating systems
Solutions to problems
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Dick Neal is Professor Emeritus at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, having taught undergraduate ecology for almost forty years. His thesis on Ugandan rodents was conducted at the Nuffield Unit of Tropical Ecology in Uganda, and he continued this research on the breeding of African rodents with sabbaticals in National Parks in Kenya (1974) and Zimbabwe, (1987-8, 1990). Other research areas have included the impacts of uranium mine effluent on aquatic ecosystems; effects on the structure and function of plankton communities; and the bioremediation of contaminated pits.