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Coevolution in Ecosystems: Red Queen Evolution or Stasis?
Nils Chr. Stenseth and J. Maynard Smith
Vol. 38, No. 4 (Jul., 1984), pp. 870-880
Published by: Society for the Study of Evolution
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2408397
Page Count: 11
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A preliminary attempt is made to develop a theory of the long-term behavior of ecosystems, including changes in the number of species, in their genetic constitutions, and in their relative abundances. The theory is based on the Red Queen hypothesis, on the theory of island biogeography, and on the concepts of species packing and limiting similarity. The main conclusion is that an ecosystem in a physically constant environment may be in one of two evolutionary modes: (i) Red Queen, or steady state of evolutionary change, or (ii) evolutionary stasis. In the latter case, continued evolution necessarily depends on changes in the physical environment. A decision as to which mode has been prevalent in the past will depend on a study of the fossil record. However, it is pointed out that such study of the past necessarily must be accompanied by the study of how organisms interact in current ecosystems.
Evolution © 1984 Society for the Study of Evolution