Quantitative traits-be they morphological or physiological characters, aspects of behavior, or genome-level features such as the amount of RNA or protein expression for a specific gene-usually show considerable variation within and among populations. Quantitative genetics, also referred to as the genetics of complex traits, is the study of such characters and is based on mathematical models of evolution in which many genes influence the trait and in which non-genetic factors may also be important. Evolution and Selection of Quantitative Traits presents a holistic treatment of the subject, showing the interplay between theory and data with extensive discussions on statistical issues relating to the estimation of the biologically relevant parameters for these models. Quantitative genetics is viewed as the bridge between complex mathematical models of trait evolution and real-world data, and the authors have clearly framed their treatment as such. This is the second volume in a planned trilogy that summarizes the modern field of quantitative genetics, informed by empirical observations from wide-ranging fields (agriculture, evolution, ecology, and human biology) as well as population genetics, statistical theory, mathematical modeling, genetics, and genomics. Whilst volume 1 (1998) dealt with the genetics of such traits, the main focus of volume 2 is on their evolution, with a special emphasis on detecting selection (ranging from the use of genomic and historical data through to ecological field data) and examining its consequences.
Livestock production systems are the result of an interaction between domestic animals and the environment, modulated by man, that dates back to Neolithic times. As a consequence of this interaction among the wide diversity of animal resources, natural habitats and population needs, very different farming systems have developed across the Mediterranean Basin. Understanding the mechanisms and effects of these relationships is key to design the farming systems best adapted to each condition, guaranteeing an adequate balance between target animal production and environmental outcomes provided by these systems. This is indeed a multidimensional topic, influenced by animal genetics, feeding resources, flock management, and economic and social aspects inside and outside the household. Therefore, this book focuses on the basis of the animal-environment interactions and the impact of human activities on the type and magnitude of these interactions. In this context, the issue of sustainability of livestock production is evaluated considering economic, social and environmental aspects. This book contributes to upgrade the state of the art in Mediterranean conditions, providing indicators and procedures of application across a wide range of systems, and hence of interest for researchers, students and professionals concerned with livestock production and the environment.
"A bold and successful attempt to illustrate the theoretical foundations of all of the subdisciplines of ecology, including basic and applied, and extending through biophysical, population, community, and ecosystem ecology. Encyclopedia of Theoretical Ecology is a compendium of clear and concise essays by the intellectual leaders across this vast breadth of knowledge."--Harold Mooney, Stanford University "A remarkable and indispensable reference work that also is flexible enough to provide essential readings for a wide variety of courses. A masterful collection of authoritative papers that convey the rich and fundamental nature of modern theoretical ecology."--Simon A. Levin, Princeton University "Theoretical ecologists exercise their imaginations to make sense of the astounding complexity of both real and possible ecosystems. Imagining a real or possible topic left out of the Encyclopedia of Theoretical Ecology has proven just as challenging. This comprehensive compendium demonstrates that theoretical ecology has become a mature science, and the volume will serve as the foundation for future creativity in this area."--Fred Adler, University of Utah "The editors have assembled an outstanding group of contributors who are a great match for their topics. Sometimes the author is a key, authoritative figure in a field; and at other times, the author has enough distance to convey all sides of a subject. The next time you need to introduce ecology students to a theoretical topic, you'll be glad to have this encyclopedia on your bookshelf."--Stephen Ellner, Cornell University “Everything you wanted to know about theoretical ecology, and much that you didn’t know you needed to know but will now! Alan Hastings and Louis Gross have done us a great service by bringing together in very accessible form a huge amount of information about a broad, complicated, and expanding field.”--Daniel Simberloff, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
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 to show 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 adaptive evolution 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 by genetically 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 environmental induction 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 applies to 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 alternative phenotypes 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 and evolution of behavior, life-history patterns, ecology, physiology, morphology and speciation. It will also appeal to evolutionary paleontologists, anthropologists, psychologists, and teachers of general biology.
Bringing together the viewpoints of leading ecologists concerned with the processes that generate patterns of diversity, and evolutionary biologists who focus on mechanisms of speciation, this book opens up discussion in order to broaden understanding of how speciation affects patterns of biological diversity, especially the uneven distribution of diversity across time, space and taxa studied by macroecologists. The contributors discuss questions such as: Are species equivalent units, providing meaningful measures of diversity? To what extent do mechanisms of speciation affect the functional nature and distribution of species diversity? How can speciation rates be measured using molecular phylogenies or data from the fossil record? What are the factors that explain variation in rates? Written for graduate students and academic researchers, the book promotes a more complete understanding of the interaction between mechanisms and rates of speciation and these patterns in biological diversity.
One of this century's leading evolutionary biologists, Motoo Kimura revolutionized the field with his random drift theory of molecular evolution—the neutral theory—and his groundbreaking theoretical work in population genetics. This volume collects 57 of Kimura's most important papers and covers forty years of his diverse and original contributions to our understanding of how genetic variation affects evolutionary change. Kimura's neutral theory, first presented in 1968, challenged the notion that natural selection was the sole directive force in evolution. Arguing that mutations and random drift account for variations at the level of DNA and amino acids, Kimura advanced a theory of evolutionary change that was strongly challenged at first and that eventually earned the respect and interest of evolutionary biologists throughout the world. This volume includes the seminal papers on the neutral theory, as well as many others that cover such topics as population structure, variable selection intensity, the genetics of quantitative characters, inbreeding systems, and reversibility of changes by random drift. Background essays by Naoyuki Takahata examine Kimura's work in relation to its effects and recent developments in each area.
Although the field of quantitative genetics - the study of the genetic basis of variation in quantitative characteristics such as body size, or reproductive success - is almost 100 years old, its application to the study of evolutionary processes in wild populations has expanded greatly over the last few decades. During this time, the use of 'wild quantitative genetics' has provided insights into a range of important questions in evolutionary ecology, ranging from studies conducting research in well-established fields such as life-history theory, behavioural ecology and sexual selection, to others addressing relatively new issues such as populations' responses to climate change or the process of senescence in natural environments. Across these fields, there is increasing appreciation of the need to quantify the genetic - rather than just the phenotypic - basis and diversity of key traits, the genetic basis of the associations between traits, and the interaction between these genetic effects and the environment. This research activity has been fuelled by methodological advances in both molecular genetics and statistics, as well as by exciting results emerging from laboratory studies of evolutionary quantitative genetics, and the increasing availability of suitable long-term datasets collected in natural populations, especially in animals. Quantitative Genetics in the Wild is the first book to synthesize the current level of knowledge in this exciting and rapidly-expanding area. This comprehensive volume also offers exciting perspectives for future studies in emerging areas, including the application of quantitative genetics to plants or arthropods, unraveling the molecular basis of variation in quantitative traits, or estimating non-additive genetic variance. Since this book deals with many fundamental questions in evolutionary ecology, it should be of interest to graduate, post-graduate students, and academics from a wide array of fields such as animal behaviour, ecology, evolution, and genetics.
Second Asia-Pacific Conference on Simulated Evolution and Learning, SEAL'98, Canberra, Australia, November 24-27, 1998 Selected Papers
Author: Bob McKay
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
This book constitutes the refereed post-workshop proceedings of the Second Asia-Pacific Conference on Simulated Evolution and Learning, SEAL '98, held in Canberra, Australia in November 1998. The 59 revised papers presented were carefully selected during two rounds of reviewing from a total of initially 92 submissions. The book covers a wide range of topics in simulated evolution and learning, from self-adaption to dynamic modelling, from reinforcement learning to agent systems, from evolutionary games to evolutionary economics, from theoretical results to successful applications, etc.
Issues in Genetic Medicine / 2011 Edition is a ScholarlyEditions™ eBook that delivers timely, authoritative, and comprehensive information about Genetic Medicine. The editors have built Issues in Genetic Medicine: 2011 Edition on the vast information databases of ScholarlyNews.™ You can expect the information about Genetic Medicine in this eBook to be deeper than what you can access anywhere else, as well as consistently reliable, authoritative, informed, and relevant. The content of Issues in Genetic Medicine: 2011 Edition has been produced by the world’s leading scientists, engineers, analysts, research institutions, and companies. All of the content is from peer-reviewed sources, and all of it is written, assembled, and edited by the editors at ScholarlyEditions™ and available exclusively from us. You now have a source you can cite with authority, confidence, and credibility. More information is available at http://www.ScholarlyEditions.com/.
Bright colors, enlarged fins, feather plumes, song, horns, antlers, and tusks are often highly sex dimorphic. Why have males in many animals evolved more conspicuous ornaments, signals, and weapons than females? How can such traits evolve although they may reduce male survival? Such questions prompted Darwin's perhaps most scientifically controversial idea--the theory of sexual selection. It still challenges researchers today as they try to understand how competition for mates can favor the variety of sex-dimorphic traits. Reviewing theoretical and empirical work in this very active field, Malte Andersson, a leading contributor himself, provides a major up-to-date synthesis of sexual selection. The author describes the theory and its recent development; examines models, methods, and empirical tests; and identifies many unsolved problems. Among the topics discussed are the selection and evolution of mating preferences; relations between sexual selection and speciation; constraints on sexual selection; and sex differences in signals, body size, and weapons. The rapidly growing study of sexual selection in plants is also reviewed. This volume will interest students, teachers, and researchers in behavioral ecology and evolutionary biology.