The Evolutionary Strategies that Shape Ecosystems

Sold by John Wiley & Sons
Free sample

In 1837 a young Charles Darwin took his notebook, wrote "I think" and then sketched a rudimentary, stick-like tree. Each branch of Darwin's tree of life told a story of survival and adaptation – adaptation of animals and plants not just to the environment but also to life with other living things. However, more than 150 years since Darwin published his singular idea of natural selection, the science of ecology has yet to account for how contrasting evolutionary outcomes affect the ability of organisms to coexist in communities and to regulate ecosystem functioning.

In this book Philip Grime and Simon Pierce explain how evidence from across the world is revealing that, beneath the wealth of apparently limitless and bewildering variation in detailed structure and functioning, the essential biology of all organisms is subject to the same set of basic interacting constraints on life-history and physiology. The inescapable resulting predicament during the evolution of every species is that, according to habitat, each must adopt a predictable compromise with regard to how they use the resources at their disposal in order to survive. The compromise involves the investment of resources in either the effort to acquire more resources, the tolerance of factors that reduce metabolic performance, or reproduction. This three-way trade-off is the irreducible core of the universal adaptive strategy theory which Grime and Pierce use to investigate how two environmental filters selecting, respectively, for convergence and divergence in organism function determine the identity of organisms in communities, and ultimately how different evolutionary strategies affect the functioning of ecosystems. This book reflects an historic phase in which evolutionary processes are finally moving centre stage in the effort to unify ecological theory, and animal, plant and microbial ecology have begun to find a common theoretical framework.

Visit www.wiley.com/go/grime/evolutionarystrategies to access the artwork from the book.

Read more
Collapse

About the author

Philip Grime is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Sheffield where he currently maintains long-term experiments at the Buxton Climate Change Impacts Laboratory in North Derbyshire. As a pioneer of experimental approaches to communities and ecosystems Professor Grime is an elected member of the Dutch and British Royal Societies and was the inaugural recipient in 2011 of the Alexander von Humboldt Medal awarded by the International Association for Vegetation Science.

Simon Pierce is a researcher and lecturer at the University of Milan, Italy, and at the time of writing taught plant physiological ecology at the University of Insubria, Varese, Italy. His research encompasses plant community ecology and ecophysiology, and the reproductive biology, cultivation and conservation of terrestrial orchids. During his career he has lived and worked in the Republic of Panama, as an Andrew W. Mellon research fellow at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, for the University of Cambridge, UK. He holds a doctorate from the University of Durham, UK, and a degree from the University of Wales, Bangor.

Read more
Collapse
Loading...

Additional Information

Publisher
John Wiley & Sons
Read more
Collapse
Published on
Mar 26, 2012
Read more
Collapse
Pages
264
Read more
Collapse
ISBN
9781118223277
Read more
Collapse
Read more
Collapse
Read more
Collapse
Language
English
Read more
Collapse
Genres
Science / Life Sciences / Evolution
Science / Life Sciences / General
Read more
Collapse
Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
Read more
Collapse
Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
Read more
Collapse

Reading information

Smartphones and Tablets

Install the Google Play Books app for Android and iPad/iPhone. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are.

Laptops and Computers

You can read books purchased on Google Play using your computer's web browser.

eReaders and other devices

To read on e-ink devices like the Sony eReader or Barnes & Noble Nook, you'll need to download a file and transfer it to your device. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders.
Less than 450 years ago, all European scholars believed that the earth was the centre of a universe that was at most a few million miles in extent, and that the planets, sun, and stars all rotated around this centre. Less than 250 years ago, they believed that the universe was created essentially in its present state about 6000 years ago. Less than 150 years ago, the special creation by God of living species was still dominant. The relentless application of the scientific method of inference from experiment and observation, without reference to religious, or governmental authority has completely transformed our view of our origins and relation to the universe, in less than 500 years. Few would dispute that this programme has been spectacularly successful, particularly in the twentieth century. This book is about the crucial role of evolutionary biology in transforming our view of human origins and relation to the universe, and the impact of this idea on traditional philosophy and religion. The purpose of this book is to introduce the general reader to some of the most important basic findings, concepts, and procedures of evolutionary biology, as it has developed since the first publications of Darwin and Wallace on the subject, over 140 years ago. Evolution provides a unifying set of principals for the whole of biology; it also illuminates the relation of human beings to the universe and each other. In addition, many aspects of evolution have practical importance; for instance, the rapid evolution of resistance by bacteria to antibiotics and of HIV to antiviral drugs are pressing medical problems. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Evolutionary Processes and Theory contains the proceedings of a workshop held in Israel in March 1985. Contributors explore evolutionary processes and theory and highlight advances in knowledge concerning differentiation, metabolic and immunological mechanisms, and the molecular biology of the genome. Issues that are being debated are also considered, including the origin and evolution of sexual systems, the genetics of altruism, and general forms and levels of social evolution.
This volume is organized into six sections encompassing 33 chapters and begins with an overview of the evolutionary problems of molecular biology. Some chapters are devoted to topics such as the role of gene regulation in evolutionary processes; the structural diversity and evolution of intermediate filament proteins; and adaptation and evolution in the immune system. The next section examines the tempo and mode of molecular evolution, including that of hybrid dysgenesis systems, as well as the statistical aspects of the molecular clock. Later chapters focus on DNA and protein sequences; sexual selection and speciation; and the relation between speciation mechanisms and macroevolutionary patterns. The book also methodically explains population genetics, with particular reference to the altruistic behavior in sibling groups with unrelated intruders, the endosperm evolution in higher plants, and the evolutionary aspects of sexual reproduction in predominantly asexual populations.
This book will be of interest to geneticists and molecular biologists.
New York Times Bestseller

A Summer Reading Pick for President Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg

From a renowned historian comes a groundbreaking narrative of humanity’s creation and evolution—a #1 international bestseller—that explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be “human.”

One hundred thousand years ago, at least six different species of humans inhabited Earth. Yet today there is only one—homo sapiens. What happened to the others? And what may happen to us?

Most books about the history of humanity pursue either a historical or a biological approach, but Dr. Yuval Noah Harari breaks the mold with this highly original book that begins about 70,000 years ago with the appearance of modern cognition. From examining the role evolving humans have played in the global ecosystem to charting the rise of empires, Sapiens integrates history and science to reconsider accepted narratives, connect past developments with contemporary concerns, and examine specific events within the context of larger ideas.

Dr. Harari also compels us to look ahead, because over the last few decades humans have begun to bend laws of natural selection that have governed life for the past four billion years. We are acquiring the ability to design not only the world around us, but also ourselves. Where is this leading us, and what do we want to become?

Featuring 27 photographs, 6 maps, and 25 illustrations/diagrams, this provocative and insightful work is sure to spark debate and is essential reading for aficionados of Jared Diamond, James Gleick, Matt Ridley, Robert Wright, and Sharon Moalem.

Plant evolutionary ecology is a rapidly growing discipline which emphasizes that populations adapt and evolve not in isolation, but in relation to other species and abiotic environmental features such as climate. Although it departs from traditional evolutionary and ecological fields of study, the field is connected to branches of ecology, genetics, botany, conservation, and to a number of other fields of applied science, primarily through shared concepts and techniques. However, most books regarding evolutionary ecology focus on animals, creating a substantial need for scholarly literature with an emphasis on plants. Approaches to Plant Evolutionary Ecology is the first book to specifically explore the evolutionary characteristics of plants, filling the aforementioned gap in the literature on evolutionary ecology. Renowned plant ecologist Gregory P. Cheplick summarizes and synthesizes much of the primary literature regarding evolutionary ecology, providing a historical context for the study of plant populations from an evolutionary perspective. The book also provides summaries of both traditional (common gardens, reciprocal transplants) and modern (molecular genetic) approaches used to address questions about plant adaptation to a diverse group of abiotic and biotic factors. Cheplick provides a rigorously-written introduction to the rapidly growing field of plant evolutionary ecology that will appeal to undergraduate and graduate students with an interest in ecology and evolution, as well as educators who are teaching courses on related topics.
The author of the bestseller The Disappearing Spoon reveals the secret inner workings of the brain through strange but true stories.

Early studies of the human brain used a simple method: wait for misfortune to strike -- strokes, seizures, infectious diseases, horrendous accidents -- and see how victims coped. In many cases their survival was miraculous, if puzzling. Observers were amazed by the transformations that took place when different parts of the brain were destroyed, altering victims' personalities. Parents suddenly couldn't recognize their own children. Pillars of the community became pathological liars. Some people couldn't speak but could still sing.

In The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons, Sam Kean travels through time with stories of neurological curiosities: phantom limbs, Siamese twin brains, viruses that eat patients' memories, blind people who see through their tongues. He weaves these narratives together with prose that makes the pages fly by, to create a story of discovery that reaches back to the 1500s and the high-profile jousting accident that inspired this book's title.* With the lucid, masterful explanations and razor-sharp wit his fans have come to expect, Kean explores the brain's secret passageways and recounts the forgotten tales of the ordinary people whose struggles, resilience, and deep humanity made neuroscience possible.

*"The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons" refers to the case of French king Henri II, who in 1559 was lanced through the skull during a joust, resulting in one of the most significant cases in neuroscience history. For hundreds of years scientists have gained important lessons from traumatic accidents and illnesses, and such misfortunes still represent their greatest resource for discovery.
©2019 GoogleSite Terms of ServicePrivacyDevelopersArtistsAbout Google|Location: United StatesLanguage: English (United States)
By purchasing this item, you are transacting with Google Payments and agreeing to the Google Payments Terms of Service and Privacy Notice.