Adaptive radiation is the evolution of diversity within a rapidly multiplying lineage. It can cause a single ancestral species to differentiate into an impressively vast array of species inhabiting a variety of environments. Much of life's diversity has arisen during adaptive radiations. Some of the most famous recent examples include the East African cichlid fishes, the Hawaiian silverswords, and of course, Darwin's Galápagos finches,. The Ecology of Adaptive Radiation evaluates the causes of adaptive radiation. It focuses on the 'ecological' theory of adaptive radiation, a body of ideas that began with Darwin and was developed through the early part of the 20th Century. This theory proposes that phenotypic divergence and speciation in adaptive radiation are caused ultimately by divergent natural selection arising from differences in environment and competition between species. In The Ecology of Adaptive Radiation the author re-evaluates the ecological theory, along with its most significant extensions and challenges, in the light of all the recent evidence. This important book is the first full exploration of the causes of adaptive radiation to be published for decades, written by one of the world's best young evolutionary biologists.
"[Schluter's] book is an ideal basis for graduate student seminar courses, and can both educate and spark spirited discussion [...] finely crafted, deeply thoughtful."
"[...] a scholarly work of great clarity and force of argument. It is essential reading for all students of evolution [...] a book that will take its place near the ones by Dobzhansky, Lack, Mayr and Simpson that inspired it."
– Peter R. Grant, Quarterly Review of Biology
"[...] in each decade, one book stands out in terms of its influence on the field of evolutionary biology [...] Although only one-year old, this decade might have already produced its member of this pantheon: Dolph Schluter The Ecology of Adaptive Radiation [...] it will lead to new avenues of research and new ways of thinking about adaptive radiation."
– Jonathan B. Losos, Trends in Ecology and Evolution
"[...] presents and impressively thorough evaluation of the empirical evidence that has accumulated since Simpson's snythesis [...] an absolute "must read" for all graduate students in the fields of ecology and evolution and for anyone interested in evolutionary diversity. It will become a classic."
– Axel Meyer, Science
"[...] should be read and regularly consulted by anybody interested in adaptive radiation, in natural selection, and in speciation."
– Konrad Bachmann, Plant Systematics and Evolution
1: The origins of ecological diversity
2: Detecting adaptive radiation
3: The progress of adaptive radiation
4: The ecological theory of adaptive radiation
5: Divergent natural selection between environments
6: Divergence and species interactions
7: Ecological opportunity
8: The ecological basis of speciation
9: Divergence along genetic lines of least resistance
10: The ecology of adaptive radiation
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