For most, the mere mention of lice forces an immediate hand to the head and recollection of childhood experiences with nits, medicated shampoos, and traumatic haircuts. But for a certain breed of biologist, lice make for fascinating scientific fodder, especially enlightening in the study of coevolution. In this book, three leading experts on host-parasite relationships demonstrate how the stunning coevolution that occurs between such species in microevolutionary, or ecological, time generates clear footprints in macroevolutionary, or historical, time. By integrating these scales, Coevolution of Life on Hosts offers a comprehensive understanding of the influence of coevolution on the diversity of all life.
Following an introduction to coevolutionary concepts, the authors combine experimental and comparative host-parasite approaches for testing coevolutionary hypotheses to explore the influence of ecological interactions and coadaptation on patterns of diversification and codiversification among interacting species. Ectoparasites—a diverse assemblage of organisms that ranges from herbivorous insects on plants, to monogenean flatworms on fish, and feather lice on birds—are powerful models for the study of coevolution because they are easy to observe, mark, and count. As lice on birds and mammals are permanent parasites that spend their entire lifecycles on the bodies of their hosts, they are ideally suited to generating a synthetic overview of coevolution—and, thereby, offer an exciting framework for integrating the concepts of coadaptation and codiversification.
The Coevolutionary Process
John N. Thompson University of Chicago Press, 1994 Library of Congress QH372.T48 1994 | Dewey Decimal 575
Traditional ecological approaches to species evolution have frequently studied too few species, relatively small areas, and relatively short time spans. In The Coevolutionary Process, John N. Thompson advances a new conceptual approach to the evolution of species interactions—the geographic mosaic theory of coevolution. Thompson demonstrates how an integrated study of life histories, genetics, and the geographic structure of populations yields a broader understanding of coevolution, or the development of reciprocal adaptations and specializations in interdependent species.
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.
Coevolution—reciprocal evolutionary change in interacting species driven by natural selection—is one of the most important ecological and genetic processes organizing the earth's biodiversity: most plants and animals require coevolved interactions with other species to survive and reproduce. The Geographic Mosaic of Coevolution analyzes how the biology of species provides the raw material for long-term coevolution, evaluates how local coadaptation forms the basic module of coevolutionary change, and explores how the coevolutionary process reshapes locally coevolving interactions across the earth's constantly changing landscapes.
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.
Interaction and Coevolution
John N. Thompson University of Chicago Press, 1982 Library of Congress QH371.T49 2014 | Dewey Decimal 576.8
“It is not only the species that change evolutionarily through interactions . . . the interactions themselves also change.” Thus states John N. Thompson in the foreword to Interaction and Coevolution, the first title in his series of books exploring the relentless nature of evolution and the processes that shape the web of life. Originally published in 1982 more as an idea piece—an early attempt to synthesize then academically distinct but logically linked strands of ecological thought and to suggest avenues for further research—than as a data-driven monograph, Interaction and Coevolution would go on to be considered a landmark study that pointed to the beginning of a new discipline. Through chapters on antagonism, mutualism, and the effects of these interactions on populations, speciation, and community structure, Thompson seeks to explain not only how interactions differ in the selection pressures they exert on species, but also when interactions are most likely to lead to coevolution. In this era of climate change and swiftly transforming environments, the ideas Thompson puts forward in Interaction and Coevolution are more relevant than ever before.
The average kilometer of tropical rainforest is teeming with life; it contains thousands of species of plants and animals. As The Ornaments of Life reveals, many of the most colorful and eye-catching rainforest inhabitants—toucans, monkeys, leaf-nosed bats, and hummingbirds to name a few—are an important component of the infrastructure that supports life in the forest. These fruit-and-nectar eating birds and mammals pollinate the flowers and disperse the seeds of hundreds of tropical plants, and unlike temperate communities, much of this greenery relies exclusively on animals for reproduction.
Synthesizing recent research by ecologists and evolutionary biologists, Theodore H. Fleming and W. John Kress demonstrate the tremendous functional and evolutionary importance of these tropical pollinators and frugivores. They shed light on how these mutually symbiotic relationships evolved and lay out the current conservation status of these essential species. In order to illustrate the striking beauty of these “ornaments” of the rainforest, the authors have included a series of breathtaking color plates and full-color graphs and diagrams.
Far from being passive elements in the landscape, plants have developed many sophisticated chemical and mechanical means of deterring organisms that seek to prey on them. This volume draws together research from ecology, evolution, agronomy, and plant pathology to produce an ecological genetics perspective on plant resistance in both natural and agricultural systems. By emphasizing the ecological and evolutionary basis of resistance, the book makes an important contribution to the study of how phytophages and plants coevolve.
Plant Resistance to Herbivores and Pathogens not only reviews the literature pertaining to plant resistance from a number of traditionally separate fields but also examines significant questions that will drive future research. Among the topics explored are selection for resistance in plants and for virulence in phytophages; methods for studying natural variation in plant resistance; the factors that maintain intraspecific variation in resistance; and the ecological consequences of within-population genetic variation for herbivorous insects and fungal pathogens.
"A comprehensive review of the theory and information on a large, rapidly growing, and important subject."—Douglas J. Futuyma, State University of New York, Stony Brook
John N. Thompson University of Chicago Press, 2013 Library of Congress QH366.2.T54 2013 | Dewey Decimal 576.8
At a glance, most species seem adapted to the environment in which they live. Yet species relentlessly evolve, and populations within species evolve in different ways. Evolution, as it turns out, is much more dynamic than biologists realized just a few decades ago.
In Relentless Evolution, John N. Thompson explores why adaptive evolution never ceases and why natural selection acts on species in so many different ways. Thompson presents a view of life in which ongoing evolution is essential and inevitable. Each chapter focuses on one of the major problems in adaptive evolution: How fast is evolution? How strong is natural selection? How do species co-opt the genomes of other species as they adapt? Why does adaptive evolution sometimes lead to more, rather than less, genetic variation within populations? How does the process of adaptation drive the evolution of new species? How does coevolution among species continually reshape the web of life? And, more generally, how are our views of adaptive evolution changing?
Relentless Evolution draws on studies of all the major forms of life—from microbes that evolve in microcosms within a few weeks to plants and animals that sometimes evolve in detectable ways within a few decades. It shows evolution not as a slow and stately process, but rather as a continual and sometimes frenetic process that favors yet more evolutionary change.
In recent years, the use of molecular data to build phylogenetic trees and sophisticated computer-aided techniques to analyze them have led to a revolution in the study of cospeciation. Tangled Trees provides an up-to-date review and synthesis of current knowledge about phylogeny, cospeciation, and coevolution. The opening chapters present various methodological and theoretical approaches, ranging from the well-known parsimony approach to "jungles" and Bayesian statistical models. Then a series of empirical chapters discusses detailed studies of cospeciation involving vertebrate hosts and their parasites, including nematodes, viruses, and lice. Tangled Trees will be welcomed by researchers in a wide variety of fields, from parasitology and ecology to systematics and evolutionary biology.
Sarah Al-Tamimi, Michael A. Charleston, Dale H. Clayton, James W. Demastes, Russell D. Gray, Mark S. Hafner, John P. Huelsenbeck, J.-P. Hugot, Kevin P. Johnson, Peter Kabat, Bret Larget, Joanne Martin, Yannis Michalakis, Roderic D. M. Page, Ricardo L. Palma, Adrian M. Paterson, Susan L. Perkins, Andy Purvis, Bruce Rannala, David L. Reed, Fredrik Ronquist, Theresa A. Spradling, Jason Taylor, Michael Tristem