Implications for Biodiversity

Two major evolutionary mechanisms creating biodiversity are speciation (that is, the origin of new species) and divergent evolution. Evolutionary genetics has identified the most important factors affecting these mechanisms and their time-scales. Mutation, recombination, spatial structure and gene flow, natural and sexual selection are all very important in generating and maintaining biodiversity. The level of biodiversity depends on a delicate balance of deterministic and stochastic forces acting on biological systems. Evolutionary genetics has shown that although under certain conditions biodiversity can be created rapidly, under the most likely conditions the processes of generating biodiversity are very slow.

—Sergey Gavrilets

See also: Evolution; Molecular Biology and Biodiversity; Natural Selection


Bell, Graham. 1997. Selection: The Mechanism of Evolution. New York: Chapman and Hall; Futuyma, Douglas J. 1998. Evolutionary Biology. Sunderland, MA: Sinauer; Hartl, Daniel L., and Andrew G. Clarke. 1997. Principles of Population Genetics. Sunderland, MA: Sinauer; Li, Wen-Hsiung. 1997. Mol-ecular Evolution. Sunderland, MA: Sinauer; May-nard Smith, John. 1998. Evolutionary Genetics. Oxford: Oxford University Press; Nei, Masatoshi. 1987. Molecular Evolutionary Genetics. New York: Columbia University Press; Ridley, Mark. 1993. Evolution. Boston: Blackwell; Stearns, Stephen C., and Rolf F. Hoekstra. 2000. Evolution: An Introduction. New York: Oxford University Press.

Worm Farming

Worm Farming

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