August 17, 2001
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
1.14 Inches (US)
1.4 Pounds (US)
$95.00 USD, £79.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Phenotypic Plasticity

Beyond Nature and Nurture

For more than two decades the concept of phenotypic plasticity has allowed researchers to go beyond the nature-nurture dichotomy to gain deeper insights into how organisms are shaped by the interaction of genetic and ecological factors. Phenotypic Plasticity: Beyond Nature and Nurture is the first work to synthesize the burgeoning area of plasticity studies, providing a conceptual overview as well as a technical treatment of its major components.

Phenotypic plasticity integrates the insights of ecological genetics, developmental biology, and evolutionary theory. Plasticity research asks foundational questions about how living organisms are capable of variation in their genetic makeup and in their responses to environmental factors. For instance, how do novel adaptive phenotypes originate? How do organisms detect and respond to stressful environments? What is the balance between genetic or natural constraints (such as gravity) and natural selection? The author begins by defining phenotypic plasticity and detailing its history, including important experiments and methods of statistical and graphical analysis. He then provides extended examples of the molecular basis of plasticity, the plasticity of development, the ecology of plastic responses, and the role of costs and constraints in the evolution of plasticity. A brief epilogue looks at how plasticity studies shed light on the nature/nurture debate in the popular media.

Phenotypic Plasticity: Beyond Nature and Nurture thoroughly reviews more than two decades of research, and thus will be of interest to both students and professionals in evolutionary biology, ecology, and genetics.

About the Author

Massimo Pigliucci is an associate professor in the Departments of Botany and of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.


"Phenotypic Plasticity is the most comprehensive book on this topic. It provides both a solid basis for understanding the subject and an inspiring synthesis of the current state of the discipline, and so can be equally recommended for students starting their research, for experts in the field and for all scientists generally interested in phenotypic plasticity. Hardly anyone will read this book without gaining new insights or new inspirations. The book is a 'must read' in the fields of evolution and ecology, and as such is an ideal topic for seminars. I highly recommend it and look forward to the next volumes in Scheiner's series."

- Ralph Tollrian - Nature

"It is difficult to see how any student of phenotypic plasticity will be able to get by without a copy of this on their shelf... [it] appeals to students at all levels of development and sophistication... It is a fascinating read and will not fail to stimulate new insight into this most important topic."

- G.J. Holloway - Heredity

"I appreciate the style of the book—theory, discussion, and plentiful examples from both zoology and botany are well balanced making the text understandable for a wide audience."

"This book... strongly shakes and stimulates our minds. After reading this book, I feel that I can understand a little more about the diversification and evolution of the fascinating living worlds surrounding us."

- Leonardo Galetto - Plants, Systematics and Evolution
Johns Hopkins University Press
Syntheses in Ecology and Evolution
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9780801867880 : phenotypic-plasticity-pigliucci
344 Pages
$95.00 USD

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