Development and Diversity

Maclaurin James and Sterelny Kim

in What Is Biodiversity?

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print June 2008 | ISBN: 9780226500805
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226500829 | DOI:
Development and Diversity

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This chapter considers hidden biodiversity. Variation between both populations and individuals can be morphologically invisible. Two populations can be phenotypically similar yet vary in their genetic resources or in the distribution of those resources. Two individuals can be phenotypically similar, yet differ in their developmental biology. The lineages that those individuals represent might therefore have very different fates or potentials. The chapter sketches the range of developmental resources (and hence differences in those resources) that contribute to evolutionary plasticity. It then illustrates these issues by discussing a salient case in more detail, namely developmental modularity, currently the hottest of hot topics in evolutionary developmental biology.

Keywords: hidden biodiversity; developmental modularity; developmental resources; evolutionary plasticity

Chapter.  8334 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Biodiversity and Conservation Biology

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