Competition and the Origins of Diversity
Publication Year: 2012
In their synthetic and provocative book, evolutionary ecologists David and Karin Pfennig explore competition's role in generating and maintaining biodiversity. The authors discuss how selection can lessen resource competition or costly reproductive interactions by promoting trait evolution through a process known as character displacement. They further describe character displacement’s underlying genetic and developmental mechanisms. The authors then consider character displacement’s myriad downstream effects, ranging from shaping ecological communities to promoting new traits and new species and even fueling large-scale evolutionary trends. Drawing on numerous studies from natural populations, and written for a broad audience, Evolution’s Wedge seeks to inspire future research into character displacement’s many implications for ecology and evolution.
Published by: University of California Press
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Title Page, Series Page, Copyright
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Table of Contents
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...this book examines how a pervasive feature of living systems — competition — drives evolution and generates diversity. Competitive interactions take place whenever any two individuals, populations, or species affect each other adversely. these interactions might involve direct contests for limiting resources or reproductive opportunities. alter-natively, they might assume more subtle forms, such as depleting a shared resource or ...
Chapter 1. Discovery of a Unifying Principle
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...in a frequently heard — and perhaps apocryphal — story, the evolutionary biologist J. B. s. Haldane, when asked to comment on what could be inferred about the Creator based on the creation, is reported to have said, “He must have had an inordinate fondness of beetles” (Farrell 1998). Why are there so many species of beetles (Figure 1.1a)? For that matter, why are there so many different kinds of living things generally? ...
Chapter 2. Why Character Displacement Occurs
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...in chapter 1, we defined “character displacement” as trait evolution that arises as an adaptive response to resource competition or deleterious reproductive interactions between species. Left unaddressed in that chapter, however, were the causes of resource competition or deleterious reproductive interactions between species. specifically, how do such interactions come about, why are they costly, and — in the absence of character ...
Chapter 3. When Character Displacement Occurs
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...in the previous two chapters, we examined how character displacement arises as an adaptive response to resource competition or deleterious reproductive interactions between species. a key unresolved issue, however, is why some populations and spe-cies are more likely to undergo character displacement as opposed to the alternative outcomes of competitive exclusion or reproductive exclusion (schluter 2000; rice and ...
Chapter 4. How Character Displacement Unfolds
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...recall from chapter 3 that a key facilitator of character displacement is the presence of standing phenotypic variation on which competitively mediated selection can act. Yet, relatively little is known about the source(s) of such variation or how different sources affect character displacement’s tempo and mode. in this chapter, we address these issues by examining the underlying proximate (that is, genetic and developmental) ...
Chapter 5. Diversity and Novelty Within Species
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...most species exhibit a striking amount of phenotypic variation. indeed, in some cases, trait variation between different members of the same species is as great as that nor-mally seen between different species (see, for example, Figure 1.1B, C). Here we con-sider the role of competitively mediated selection in generating and maintaining such in explaining this variation, we shift our focus in this chapter to intraspecific compe-...
Chapter 6. Ecological Consequences
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Having focused on the causes of character displacement in the first half of the book, we now explicitly examine some of the consequences of character displacement, starting with its ecological consequences. in this chapter, we consider how the study of charac-ter displacement provides a unifying framework for understanding the maintenance, We begin by discussing how character displacement contributes to species coex-...
Chapter 7. Sexual Selection
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...in chapter 6, we examined the ecological ramifications of character displacement. For the remainder of the book, we discuss character displacement’s evolutionary implica-identifying the factors that can influence sexual selection is critical for understand-ing the causes of diversification, for at least two reasons. First, traits produced through sexual selection — such as the striking sexually dimorphic features observed in many ...
Chapter 8. Speciation
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Understanding how species arise (“speciation”) is essential for explaining the origins of diversity. Until this point in the book, we have only briefly mentioned the possible con-tribution of character displacement to speciation. Here, we explicitly consider character specifically, we discuss how character displacement potentially promotes speciation via three routes: (1) by finalizing speciation following contact between already diver-...
Chapter 9. Macroevolution
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...macroevolution is large-scale evolutionary change, ranging from the origin of species and major new features (such as novel traits or even new body plans) to long-term evo-lutionary trends (stanley 1979; Erwin 2000; Levinton 2001; gould 2002; Futuyma 2009). Beginning with darwin, many evolutionary scientists have held that macroevo-lution reflects the long-term accumulation of small-scale evolutionary change occurring ...
Chapter 10. Major Themes and Unsolved Problems&
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...at the outset of this book, we emphasized that a longstanding problem in both evo-lutionary biology and ecology is to explain why there are so many different kinds of living things and why even closely related organisms tend to differ from one another phenotypically (for example, see Figure 1.1). We described how darwin (1859 ) addressed this problem by advancing his principle of divergence of character. accord-...
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Page Count: 320
Publication Year: 2012
Series Title: Organisms and Environments