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Evolution In Changing Environments

Author: Richard Levins
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691080628
Size: 32.27 MB
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On theories and models. Strategies of adaptation. The theory of the niche. The species in space. The genetic system. From micro to macro evolution.

Niche Construction

Author: F. John Odling-Smee
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400847265
Size: 21.52 MB
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The seemingly innocent observation that the activities of organisms bring about changes in environments is so obvious that it seems an unlikely focus for a new line of thinking about evolution. Yet niche construction--as this process of organism-driven environmental modification is known--has hidden complexities. By transforming biotic and abiotic sources of natural selection in external environments, niche construction generates feedback in evolution on a scale hitherto underestimated--and in a manner that transforms the evolutionary dynamic. It also plays a critical role in ecology, supporting ecosystem engineering and influencing the flow of energy and nutrients through ecosystems. Despite this, niche construction has been given short shrift in theoretical biology, in part because it cannot be fully understood within the framework of standard evolutionary theory. Wedding evolution and ecology, this book extends evolutionary theory by formally including niche construction and ecological inheritance as additional evolutionary processes. The authors support their historic move with empirical data, theoretical population genetics, and conceptual models. They also describe new research methods capable of testing the theory. They demonstrate how their theory can resolve long-standing problems in ecology, particularly by advancing the sorely needed synthesis of ecology and evolution, and how it offers an evolutionary basis for the human sciences. Already hailed as a pioneering work by some of the world's most influential biologists, this is a rare, potentially field-changing contribution to the biological sciences.

Plants In Changing Environments

Author: F. A. Bazzaz
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521398435
Size: 13.41 MB
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Describes the effects of disturbance, species competition and coexistence, and the processes of plant succession.

Virtual Plants Modeling Plant Architecture In Changing Environments

Author: Katrin Kahlen
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
ISBN: 2889450929
Size: 66.61 MB
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Plant architecture is a major determinant of the resource use efficiency of crops. The architecture of a plant shows ontogenetic structural changes which are modified by multiple environmental factors: Plant canopies are exposed to natural fluctuations in light quantity and the dynamically changing canopy architecture induces local variations in light quality. Changing temperature conditions or water availability during growth additionally affect plant architecture and thus crop productivity, because plants have various options to adapt their architecture to the available resources. Meeting the challenge of ensuring food security we must understand the plant’s mechanisms for integrating and responding to an orchestra of environmental factors. ‘Virtual plants’ describe plant architecture in silico. Virtual plants have the potential to help us understanding the complex feedback processes between canopy architecture, multiple environmental factors and crop productivity. As a research tool, they have become increasingly popular within the last decade due to their great power of realistically visualizing the plant’s architecture. This Research Topic highlights current research carried out on modeling plant architecture in changing environments.

Applied Ecology And Human Dimensions In Biological Conservation

Author: Luciano M. Verdade
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3642547516
Size: 69.62 MB
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This book provides both the conceptual basis and technological tools that are necessary to identify and solve problems related to biodiversity governance. The authors discuss intriguing evolutionary questions, which involve the sometimes surprising adaptive capacity of certain organisms to dwell in altered and/or changing environments that apparently lost most of their structure and functionality. Space and time heterogeneities are considered in order to understand the patterns of distribution and abundance of species and the various processes that mold them. The book also discusses at which level—from genes to the landscape, including individuals, populations, communities, and ecosystems—men should intervene in nature in order to prevent the loss of biodiversity.

Biology Under The Influence

Author: Richard Lewontin
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 1583671587
Size: 80.35 MB
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How do we understand the world? While some look to the heavens for intelligent design, others argue that it is determined by information encoded in DNA. Science serves as an important activity for uncovering the processes and operations of nature, but it is also immersed in a social context where ideology influences the questions we ask and how we approach the material world. Biology Under the Influence: Dialectical Essays on the Coevolution of Nature and Society breaks from the confirms of determinism, offering a dialectical analysis for comprehending a dynamic social and natural world. In Biology Under the Influence, Richard Lewontin and Richard Levins provide a devastating critique of genetic determinism and reductionism within science while exploring a broad range of issues including the nature of science, biology, evolution, the environment, pubic health, and dialectics, They dismantle the ideology that attempts to naturalize social inequalities, unveil the alienation of science and nature, and illustrate how a dialectical position serves as a basis for grappling with historical developments and a world characterized by change. Biology Under the Influence brings together the illuminating essays of two prominent scientists who work to demystify and empower the public's understanding of science and nature.