Developmental Plasticity and Evolution

Paperback | February 15, 2003

byMary Jane West-Eberhard

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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 behavior, genetics, endocrinology, molecular biology, evolutionary theory and phylogenetics toshow the connections between developmental mechanisms and evolutionary change. This book 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 adaptiveevolution 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 behavioral development and physiological adaptation, where plasticity is mediated bygenetically complex mechanisms like hormones and learning. The book 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 environmentalinduction 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. This book satisfies the need for a truly general book on development, plasticity and evolution that appliesto 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 alternativephenotypes occupy a pivotal role as a phase of evolution that fosters diversification and speeds change. The arguments of this book 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. Developmental Plasticity and Evolution is designed for biologists interested in the development andevolution of behavior, life-history patterns, ecology, physiology, morphology and speciation. It will also appeal to evolutionary paleontologists, anthropologists, psychologists, and teachers of general biology.

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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 behavior, genetics, endocrinology, molecular biology, evolutionary theory and phylogenetics toshow the connections between developmental mec...

Mary Jane West-Eberhard is at Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.

other books by Mary Jane West-Eberhard

Developmental Plasticity and Evolution
Developmental Plasticity and Evolution

Kobo ebook|Mar 13 2003

$63.99 online$82.99list price(save 22%)
Format:PaperbackDimensions:816 pages, 7.01 × 10 × 1.69 inPublished:February 15, 2003Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195122356

ISBN - 13:9780195122350

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Table of Contents

Part I - Framework for a Synthesis1. Gaps and Inconsistencies in Modern Evolutionary Thought2. Material for a Synthesis3. Plasticity4. Modularity5. Development6. Adaptive Evolution7. Principles of Development and Evolution8. Darwin's Theory of Development and EvolutionPart II - The Origins of Novelty9. The Nature and Analysis of Phenotypic Transitions10. Duplication11. Deletion12. Reversion13. Heterochrony14. Heterotopy15. Cross-sexual Transfer16. Quantitative Shifts in Correlated Change17. Combinatorial Evolution at the Molecular Level18. Phenotypic Recombination by Learning19. RecurrencePart III - Alternative Phenotypes20. Alternative Phenotypes as a Phase of Evolution21. Divergence without Speciation22. Maintenance without Equilibrium23. AssessmentPart IV - Developmental Plasticity and the Major Themes of Evolutionary Biology24. Gradualism25. Homology26. Environmental Modifications27. Speciation28. Adaptive Radiation29. Macroevolution30. Punctuation31. One Final Word: Sex

Editorial Reviews

"This book does not propose a radical departure from current evolutionary theory; rather it is a truly novel synthesis of evolutionary and developmental biology that is sure to profoundly affect the way biologists view the natural world. A must-read for any serious student of evolution and amust-have for any biological literature collection."--Choice