These proceedings had their origin in a conference entitled 'Alternative Life History Styles of Fishes and Other Organisms' which was held in Grahamstown, South Africa, in June 1987. The idea for the conference arose out of the fascination of an African ichthyologist/ecologist (MNB) for the conceptual models of fish life-history styles which were being developed by an ichthyologist/epigeneticist based in Canada but with field experience in Europe, Asia and Africa (EKB). I had never been fully convinced that the adaptationist arguments of the neo-Darwinians ex- plained all ontogenetic and evolutionary phenomena, and found that the novel approach to organism development and evolution which had been adopted by Balon, as well as by others such as L0vtrup, was refreshing and enlightening. Their perspectives, combined with the new ideas on self-organisation and the link between nonequilibrium thermodynamics and biology by Prigogine, Jantsch, Laszlo, Wicken, Weber and others, seemed to suggest that new ways of interpreting old findings were now becoming available.
On delving into the literature I found that a variety of zoologists were working in the field of alternative life-history styles and autopoiesis, yet they seemed to be unaware of one another's work. We decided that it was time for a meeting of minds. The aim of the conference was to examine the way in which epigenesis (i. e.
Prologue.- 1. The Tao of life: from the dynamic unity of polar opposites to self-organization.- I. Theories, mechanisms and examples.- 2. Developmental biology and alternative life styles.- 3. On divergent and progressive evolution.- 4. Direct and indirect development in fishes - examples of alternative life-history styles.- 5. Alternative life-history styles in anuran amphibians: evolutionary and ecological implications.- 6. Alternative life-history styles in reptiles.- 7. Environmentally guided phenotype plasticity in mammals and some of its consequences to theoretical and applied biology.- 8. Sex change as an alternative life-history style.- 9. Environmental restraints and life strategies: a habitat templet matrix.- 10. Alternative life-history styles of small mammals.- II. Theories contested or tested.- 11. Ontogeny and evolution: saltatory or otherwise?.- 12. Alternative sexual tactics in male bladder grasshoppers (Orthoptera, Pneumoridae).- 13. Alternative life-history styles of mutillid wasps (Insecta, Hymenoptera).- 14. Alternative life-history styles in Simuliidae (Insecta, Diptera).- 15. The evolution of alternative life styles in Coleoptera.- 16. Alternative life-history styles in salmonine fishes with emphasis on arctic charr, Salvelinus alpinus.- 17. Metamorphosis in the frog Arthroleptella lightfooti (Anura, Ranidae) with emphasis on neuro-endocrine mechanisms.- 18. Allometry and the breeding biology of some plovers.- 19. Alternative life-history styles of South African birds.- 20. Life-history styles of southern African Mastomys natalensis, Otomys irroratus and Rhabdomys pumilio (Mammalia, Rodentia).- 21. The megaherbivore syndrome: alternative life style or different time frame?.- 22. The constraint of maternal nutrition on the trajectory of fetal growth in humans.- III. Are new paradigms emerging?.- 23. The epigenetic mechanisms of bifurcation and alternative life-history styles.- 24. The ecological significance of alternative life-history styles.- Transcript of discussions.- What is the difference between neo-Darwinism and epigenetics?.- The Okavango debate on bifurcation.- List of contributors.- Scientific and subject index.
Series: Perspectives in Vertebrate Science
Number Of Pages: 617
Published: 31st May 1989
Country of Publication: NL
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.5
Weight (kg): 2.37