The Flexible Phenotype: A Body-Centred Integration of Ecology, Physiology, and Behaviour by Theunis PiersmaThe Flexible Phenotype: A Body-Centred Integration of Ecology, Physiology, and Behaviour by Theunis Piersma

The Flexible Phenotype: A Body-Centred Integration of Ecology, Physiology, and Behaviour

byTheunis Piersma, Jan A. van Gils

Paperback | May 11, 2010

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The Flexible Phenotype attempts a true synthesis of animal physiology, behaviour, and ecology by developing an empirical argument that describes the intimate connections between animal phenotype and environment. It starts with a synthesis of the principles guiding current research inecophysiology, behaviour, and ecology, illustrating each aspect with the detailed results of empirical work on as wide a range of organisms as possible.The integrated story of the flexible phenotype is weaved throughout the book on the basis of the authors' long-term research programme on migrant shorebirds and their invertebrate prey. These birds travel vast distances from one environment to another, and the changing nature of their bodiesreflects the varied selection pressures experienced in these very different locations. In essence, the authors argue for the existence of direct, measurable, links between phenotype and ecology. Their book outlines a more encompassing approach to evolutionary ecology, based on first principles inphysiology, behaviour, and ecology. It aspires to encourage a further integration of ecology and physiology, as well as fostering a collaborative research agenda between ecologists and physiologists.
Theunis Piersma is Professor of Animal Ecology at the University of Groningen and a senior research scientist with the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ) on Texel. Together with his internationally oriented research teams at Groningen and Texel he investigates how the distribution and numbers of shorebirds and meadowb...
Title:The Flexible Phenotype: A Body-Centred Integration of Ecology, Physiology, and BehaviourFormat:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 9.69 × 7.44 × 0.03 inPublished:May 11, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199597243

ISBN - 13:9780199597246


Table of Contents

1. IntroductionPart I - Basics of Organismal Design2. Maintaining the Balance of Heat, Water, Nutrients, and Energy3. Symmorphosis: Principle and Limitations of Economic DesignPart II - Adding Environment4. Metabolic Ceilings: the Ecology of Physiological Restraint5. Phenotypic Plasticity: Matching Phenotypes to Environmental DemandsPart III - Adding Behaviour6. Optimal Behaviour: Currencies and Constraints7. Optimal Foraging: the Dynamic Choice Between Diets, Feeding Patches, and Gut SizesPart IV - Towards a Fully Integrated View8. Beyond the Physical Balance: Disease and Predation9. Population Consequences: Conservation and Management of Flexible Phenotypes10. Evolution in Five Dimensions: Phenotypes First!ReferencesIndex

Editorial Reviews

"In their book Piersma and van Gils provide a timely summary of the reawakening in our knowledge of phenotypic flexibility in the context of comparative biology. They convincingly remind us of how it is a key component of the whole process by which an organism interacts with its environment.Written in an engaging style which draws the reader into the salient issues of the day with everyday examples this book is not only a landmark in the field, but an entertaining read as well. It will therefore appeal to readers across the spectrum, from interested amateur naturalists, via students ofphysiological and behavioural ecology to established professional researchers." --Professor John Speakman, University of Aberdeen, UK