Selection: The Mechanism of Evolution

Paperback | January 15, 2009

byGraham Bell

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This book adopts an experimental approach to understanding the mechanisms of evolution and the nature of evolutionary processes, with examples drawn from microbial, plant and animal systems. It incorporates insights from remarkable recent advances in theoretical modelling, and the fields ofmolecular genetics and environmental genomics.Adaptation is caused by selection continually winnowing the genetic variation created by mutation. In the last decade, our knowledge of how selection operates on populations in the field and in the laboratory has increased enormously, and the principal aim of this book is to provide an up-to-dateaccount of selection as the principal agent of evolution. In the classical Fisherian model, weak selection acting on many genes of small effect over long periods of time is responsible for driving slow and gradual change. However, it is now clear that adaptation in laboratory populations ofteninvolves strong selection acting on a few genes of large effect, while in the wild selection is often strong and highly variable in space and time. Indeed these results are changing our perception of how evolutionary change takes place. This book summarizes our current understanding of the causesand consequences of selection, with an emphasis on quantitative and experimental studies. It includes the latest research into experimental evolution, natural selection in the wild, artificial selection, selfish genetic elements, selection in social contexts, sexual selection, and speciation.

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From the Publisher

This book adopts an experimental approach to understanding the mechanisms of evolution and the nature of evolutionary processes, with examples drawn from microbial, plant and animal systems. It incorporates insights from remarkable recent advances in theoretical modelling, and the fields ofmolecular genetics and environmental genomics....

From the Jacket

The history and diversity of life on earth are testimony to evolutionary processes that extend back to the dawn of time. The agent of change and diversification is natural selection acting over long periods of time. We might, however, ask how a process so simple can give rise to the intricate and complex organization of living things, ...

Graham Bell is a professor of biology at McGill University in Montreal. He has published many articles on ecology and evolution, and three books: the Masterpiece of Nature (1982), Sex and Death in Protozoa (1988) and Selection (1996).

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:576 pages, 9.69 × 7.44 × 0.07 inPublished:January 15, 2009Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198569734

ISBN - 13:9780198569732

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Table of Contents

1. Simple selection2. The genetic and ecological context of selection3. Natural selection in closed asexual populations4. Prometheus Unbound: realeasing the constraints on natural selection5. Selection in multicellular organisms6. Artificial selection7. Natural selection in open populations8. Adaptive radiation: diversity and specialization9. Autoselection: selfish genetic elements10. Social selection11. Coevolution12. Sexual selection13. SpeciationEpitome

Editorial Reviews

`An outstanding book belonging on every science shelf.'CHOICE, 2008, Vol. 45 No. 11