Evolution's Wedge : Competition and the Origins of Diversity, Hardback Book

Evolution's Wedge : Competition and the Origins of Diversity Hardback

Part of the Organisms and Environments series


Evolutionary biology has long sought to explain how new traits and new species arise. Darwin maintained that competition is key to understanding this biodiversity and held that selection acting to minimize competition causes competitors to become increasingly different, thereby promoting new traits and new species. Despite Darwin's emphasis, competition's role in diversification remains controversial and largely underappreciated.

In their synthetic and provocative book, evolutionary ecologists David and Karin Pfennig explore competition's role in generating and maintaining biodiversity. The authors discuss how selection can lessen resource competition or costly reproductive interactions by promoting trait evolution through a process known as character displacement. They further describe character displacement's underlying genetic and developmental mechanisms. The authors then consider character displacement's myriad downstream effects, ranging from shaping ecological communities to promoting new traits and new species and even fueling large-scale evolutionary trends. Drawing on numerous studies from natural populations, and written for a broad audience, Evolution's Wedge seeks to inspire future research into character displacement's many implications for ecology and evolution.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 320 pages, 72 line illustrations, 7 tables
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Applied ecology
  • ISBN: 9780520274181



Free Home Delivery

on all orders

Pick up orders

from local bookshops

Also in the Organisms and Environments series   |  View all