Combining insights from observation, experimentation, and theory, The Origin, Expansion, and Demise of Plant Species offers a broad overview of species as dynamic entities that arise, have unique evolutionary histories, and ultimately go extinct. It begins with a review of species concepts and the exposition of a new concept; it then addresses plant speciation, the expansion of species from their narrow centers of origin, intraspecific differentiation, and contact zones between differentiated population systems. Special attention is given to the breakdown of cohesion among populations by reproductive and spatial barriers. Also, the ecological and genetic properties of small populations and fragmented population systems are discussed with a focus on the role of hybridization in the demise of species. It ends with an exploration of the longevity of species and the tempo of diversification, contrasting different groups of plants in these respects as well as in rates of chromosomal differentiation.
This book provides a new synthesis of evolutionary biology and ecology. It examines species from their origins, then follows them through their expansion, differentiation and loss of cohesion, and decline and extinction. The stages in the lives of species are viewed through ecological and genetic theory, and topics typically addressed independently are woven into a continuous fabric. As the first synthetic treatment of the stages through which plant species pass, this book is very useful for botanists, evolutionary biologists, conservation biologists, as well as all curious students of the biological sciences.
". . .Levin has written a very good book. . .Whether his more radical propositions prove right or wrong, he has done a great service by crafting with perspicuity and elegant account of a central topic in evolutionary biology."--The Quarterly Review of Biology ". . .I can recommend Levin's book primarily as a useful bibliographic overview of the literature on plant speciation of the last 30 years, although with a heavy bias towards population biology."--Plant Systematics and Evolution ". . .The Origin, Expansion and Demise of Plant Species represents the first book to be written on the topic for 30 y ears and is likely to be snapped up by plant evolutionists starved for a modern treatment. . .[This book] will be useful for those looking for an up-to-date review of recent work in plant ecological genetics. The book can be used as a springboard into the literature and does contain several proposals that are likely to stimulate discussion, especially in graduate seminars. The species-history approach adopted by Levin is valuable because it points to areas where we lack information, such as the timing of species origins, the nature of the species spread, range limits, and the causes of extinction."--Evolution "[A] source of lively discussion and debate among groups interested in plant evolution ... will serve as a stimulus to research over the years ahead. ... I strongly recommend [it] to all evolutionary biologists as valuable reading."--Heredity
Series: Oxford Series in Ecology & Evolution
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Number Of Pages: 238
Published: 4th May 2000
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.6 x 1.4
Weight (kg): 0.455