front cover of Coevolution of Animals and Plants
Coevolution of Animals and Plants
Symposium V, First International Congress of Systematic and Evolutionary Biology, 1973
Edited by Lawrence E. Gilbert and Peter H. Raven
University of Texas Press, 1975

It has long been recognized that plants and animals profoundly affect one another’s characteristics during the course of evolution. However, the importance of coevolution as a dynamic process involving such diverse factors as chemical communication, population structure and dynamics, energetics, and the evolution, structure, and functioning of ecosystems has been widely recognized for a comparatively short time. Coevolution represents a point of view about the structure of nature that only began to be fully explored in the late twentieth century. The papers presented here herald its emergence as an important and promising field of biological research.

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.


front cover of Coevolution of Life on Hosts
Coevolution of Life on Hosts
Integrating Ecology and History
Dale H. Clayton, Sarah E. Bush, and Kevin P. Johnson
University of Chicago Press, 2015
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.

front cover of The Coevolutionary Process
The Coevolutionary Process
John N. Thompson
University of Chicago Press, 1994
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.

front cover of The Geographic Mosaic of Coevolution
The Geographic Mosaic of Coevolution
John N. Thompson
University of Chicago Press, 2005
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.

front cover of Interaction and Coevolution
Interaction and Coevolution
John N. Thompson
University of Chicago Press, 1982
“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.

front cover of The Ornaments of Life
The Ornaments of Life
Coevolution and Conservation in the Tropics
Theodore H. Fleming and W. John Kress
University of Chicago Press, 2013
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.  

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Our Oldest Companions
The Story of the First Dogs
Pat Shipman
Harvard University Press, 2021

How did the dog become man’s best friend? A celebrated anthropologist unearths the mysterious origins of the unique partnership that rewrote the history of both species.

Dogs and humans have been inseparable for more than 40,000 years. The relationship has proved to be a pivotal development in our evolutionary history. The same is also true for our canine friends; our connection with them has had much to do with their essential nature and survival. How and why did humans and dogs find their futures together, and how have these close companions (literally) shaped each other? Award-winning anthropologist Pat Shipman finds answers in prehistory and the present day.

In Our Oldest Companions, Shipman untangles the genetic and archaeological evidence of the first dogs. She follows the trail of the wolf-dog, neither prehistoric wolf nor modern dog, whose bones offer tantalizing clues about the earliest stages of domestication. She considers the enigma of the dingo, not quite domesticated yet not entirely wild, who has lived intimately with humans for thousands of years while actively resisting control or training. Shipman tells how scientists are shedding new light on the origins of the unique relationship between our two species, revealing how deep bonds formed between humans and canines as our guardians, playmates, shepherds, and hunters.

Along the journey together, dogs have changed physically, behaviorally, and emotionally, as humans too have been transformed. Dogs’ labor dramatically expanded the range of human capability, altering our diets and habitats and contributing to our very survival. Shipman proves that we cannot understand our own history as a species without recognizing the central role that dogs have played in it.


front cover of Plant Resistance to Herbivores and Pathogens
Plant Resistance to Herbivores and Pathogens
Ecology, Evolution, and Genetics
Edited by Robert S. Fritz and Ellen L. Simms
University of Chicago Press, 1992
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

front cover of Postcinematic Vision
Postcinematic Vision
The Coevolution of Moving-Image Media and the Spectator
Roger F. Cook
University of Minnesota Press, 2020

A study of how film has continually intervened in our sense of perception, with far-ranging insights into the current state of lived experience

How has cinema transformed our senses, and how does it continue to do so? Positing film as a stage in the long coevolution of human consciousness and visual technology, Postcinematic Vision offer a fresh perspective on the history of film while providing startling new insights into the so-called divide between cinematic and digital media.

Starting with the argument that film viewing has long altered neural circuitry in our brains, Roger F. Cook proceeds to reevaluate film’s origins, as well as its merger with digital imaging in the 1990s. His animating argument is that film has continually altered the relation between media and human perception, challenging the visual nature of modern culture in favor of a more unified, pan-sensual way of perceiving. Through this approach, he makes original contributions to our understanding of how mediation is altering lived experience.

Along the way, Cook provides important reevaluations of well-known figures such as Franz Kafka, closely reading cinematic passages in the great author’s work; he reassesses the conventional wisdom that Marshall McLuhan was a technological determinist; and he lodges an original new reading of The Matrix. Full of provocative and far-reaching ideas, Postcinematic Vision is a powerful work that helps us see old concepts anew while providing new ideas for future investigation.


front cover of Relentless Evolution
Relentless Evolution
John N. Thompson
University of Chicago Press, 2013
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.


front cover of Tangled Trees
Tangled Trees
Phylogeny, Cospeciation, and Coevolution
Edited by Roderic D. M. Page
University of Chicago Press, 2002
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

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