Components and Mechanisms

1st Edition - April 14, 2014

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  • Author: David Zeigler
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128004173
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128003480

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Evolution: Components and Mechanisms introduces the many recent discoveries and insights that have added to the discipline of organic evolution, and combines them with the key topics needed to gain a fundamental understanding of the mechanisms of evolution. Each chapter covers an important topic or factor pertinent to a modern understanding of evolutionary theory, allowing easy access to particular topics for either study or review. Many chapters are cross-referenced. Modern evolutionary theory has expanded significantly within only the past two to three decades. In recent times the definition of a gene has evolved, the definition of organic evolution itself is in need of some modification, the number of known mechanisms of evolutionary change has increased dramatically, and the emphasis placed on opportunity and contingency has increased. This book synthesizes these changes and presents many of the novel topics in evolutionary theory in an accessible and thorough format. This book is an ideal, up-to-date resource for biologists, geneticists, evolutionary biologists, developmental biologists, and researchers in, as well as students and academics in these areas and professional scientists in many subfields of biology.

Key Features

  • Discusses many of the mechanisms responsible for evolutionary change
  • Includes an appendix that provides a brief synopsis of these mechanisms with most discussed in greater detail in respective chapters
  • Aids readers in their organization and understanding of the material by addressing the basic concepts and topics surrounding organic evolution
  • Covers some topics not typically addressed, such as opportunity, contingency, symbiosis, and progress


Biologists, geneticists, evolutionary biologists, developmental biologists, and researchers in, as well as students and academics in these areas and professional scientist in many subfields of biology, such as medicine, paleontology, ethology, anthropology, psychology, philosophy, and sociology.

Table of Contents

    • Quote
    • Preface
    • Acknowledgements
    • Biography
    • Chapter 1. Evolution
    • Chapter 2. Natural Selection
    • Chapter 3. Adaptation
    • Chapter 4. Competition
    • Chapter 5. Genetics Basics & Mutations
      • Mutations
    • Chapter 6. Transposable Elements, Viruses, and Genomes
    • Chapter 7. Horizontal Gene Transfer
    • Chapter 8. Neutral Evolution
      • The Redundant Genetic Code
      • Neutral Nonsilent Mutations
      • Mutations in Introns
      • Mutations in Other Noncoding DNA
      • Some Chromosomal Mutations Can Be Neutral
    • Chapter 9. Genetic Drift
    • Chapter 10. Environment
    • Chapter 11. Development
    • Chapter 12. Symbiosis
    • Chapter 13. Speciation
      • Allopatric Speciation
      • Sympatric Speciation
      • Parapatric Speciation
      • Speciation by Polyploidy
      • Speciation without Cladogenesis
    • Chapter 14. Micro- and Macroevolution
    • Chapter 15. Homology
    • Chapter 16. Imperfection
    • Chapter 17. The Fossil Record and the History of Life
    • Chapter 18. Contingency and Evolution
    • Chapter 19. Opportunity
    • Chapter 20. Phylogeny—The Tree of Life
    • Chapter 21. Progress—Purpose?
    • References
    • Appendix 1
    • Appendix 2
    • Index

Product details

  • No. of pages: 206
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2014
  • Published: April 14, 2014
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128004173
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128003480

About the Author

David Zeigler

Affiliations and Expertise

Department of Biology, University of North Carolina at Pembroke, USA

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