Coevolution of Animals and Plants is the first book to focus on the dynamic aspects of animal-plant coevolution. It covers, as broadly as possible, all the ways in which plants interact with animals. Thus, it includes discussions of leaf-feeding animals and their impact on plant evolution as well as of predator-prey relationships involving the seeds of angiosperms. Several papers deal with the most familiar aspect of mutualistic plant-animal interactions—pollination relationships. The interactions of orchids and bees, ants and plants, and butterflies and plants are discussed. One article provides a fascinating example of more indirect relationships centered around the role of carotenoids, which are produced by plants but play a fundamental part in the visual systems of both plants and animals.
Coevolution of Animals and Plants provides a general conceptual framework for studies on animal-plant interaction. The papers are written from a theoretical, rather than a speculative, standpoint, stressing patterns that can be applied in a broader sense to relationships within ecosystems.
Contributors to the volume include Paul Feeny, Miriam Rothschild, Christopher Smith, Brian Hocking, Lawrence Gilbert, Calaway Dodson, Herbert Baker, Bernd Heinrich, Doyle McKey, and Gordon Frankie.
This is the book Richard Dawkins was meant to write: a brilliant assessment of what science is (and isn't), a tribute to science not because it is useful but because it is uplifting.
Picking up where his influential The Coevolutionary Process left off, John N. Thompsonsynthesizes the state of a rapidly developing science that integrates approaches from evolutionary ecology, population genetics, phylogeography, systematics, evolutionary biochemistry and physiology, and molecular biology. Using models, data, and hypotheses to develop a complete conceptual framework, Thompson also draws on examples from a wide range of taxa and environments, illustrating the expanding breadth and depth of research in coevolutionary biology.
Using examples of species interactions from an enormous range of taxa, Thompson examines how and when extreme specialization evolves in interdependent species and how geographic differences in specialization, adaptation, and the outcomes of interactions shape coevolution. Through the geographic mosaic theory, Thompson bridges the gap between the study of specialization and coevolution in local communities and the study of broader patterns seen in comparisons of the phylogenies of interacting species.