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A Review of - The Coevolutionary Process by J.N.Thompson, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London (1994).

Gadagkar, R (1996) A Review of - The Coevolutionary Process by J.N.Thompson, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London (1994). In: Tropical Ecology, 37 (1). pp. 147-148.

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John N. Thompson. 1994. The Coevolutionary Process . The University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London. p. xi+376 . Price US$ 19 .95; UK & 15.95. (ISBN 0 226 797600). No species lives in isolation. Other species, similar and different. constitute a dominant and dynamic component of any organism's environment. If evolution by natural selection is a major force responsible for the observed characteristics of living organisms, it goes without saying that members of interacting species are often agents of na,1ral selection . It seems rather surorising therefore that it was only in 1964 that Ehrlich and Raven coined the term coevolution in their effort to describe the evolutionary interactions between plants and butterflies. Even after this belated recognition of what seems an obvious aspect of natural selection, coevolution has not had a smooth and swelling following among evolutionary biologists. In many ways coevolution is beset with the same problem as natural selection itself, namely, that it is an obvious explanation for many of the observed phenomena but can seldom be rigorously proved, and let's face it - it is less heretical to question coevolution than it is to question natural selection. One approach has been to take coevolution as granted and inevitable, and therefore treat it as a theory and only worry about testing specific hypothesis that stem from it and not to attempt to test the theory itself - much as we do with natural selection! A second approach has been to treat coevolution as an onerous concept, not to he invoked unless there is compelling evidence, an approach that is sometimes advocated also in the case of adaptation.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Tropical Ecology
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London
Keywords: Book review, Coevolutionary process, Geographic mosaic
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2021 10:17
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 10:17
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/68145

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