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The Input from Population Genetics: "The New Ecological Genetics"

Janis Antonovics
Systematic Botany
Vol. 1, No. 3 (Autumn, 1976), pp. 233-245
DOI: 10.2307/2418718
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2418718
Page Count: 13
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The Input from Population Genetics: "The New Ecological Genetics"
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Abstract

Recently there has been a growing interaction of genetical and ecological approaches to theoretical and natural populations. The relative ease with which plant populations can be studied demographically and experimentally suggests that plants will play a major role in developing this interaction. Already such studies have lead to a "new ecological genetics" that goes beyond earlier conceptualization of genetic differences among populations in the framework of experimental taxonomy. This new ecological genetics has developed a series of tenets that emphasize the importance of considering genetic and ecological factors in concert: 1) Explaining the abundance and distribution of organisms is basically the genetic problem of explaining limits to natural selection. 2) An understanding of community structure will come from consideration of how forces maintaining species diversity and genetic diversity interact. 3) Adaptation is operationally definable in terms of mortality and fecundity of individuals in populations. 4) Adaptation to new environments results in different genotypes with different life histories. 5) The distinction between "ecological time" and "evolutionary time" is artificial and misleading.

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