Evolution of Interactions in Communities

Christopher J. Paradise and A. Malcolm Campbell

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Pairwise and diffuse coevolution are defined, with examples that include mutualisms and predator-prey interactions. In any example of coevolution, the costs and benefits to both species involved in the interaction must be assessed in order to understand evolution of the interaction. Models to explain coral bleaching are examined in the context of a coevolutionary mutualism, as are the implications for the possible extinction of coral reefs. Data are examined in order to determine which model is best supported. Other examples of how evolution affects interactions and communities of organisms include adaptation to living in particular habitats and evolution to frequent and somewhat predictable disturbances. For the former, physiological adaptations possessed by some plants to live in low light conditions are described and assessed. Ecological disturbances are defined, and the role of disturbance on evolution of ecological systems is assessed through the use of data. Finally, how time and spatial scales affect disturbances and the evolutionary responses of organisms to disturbances are also examined.

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Christopher J. Paradise

Christopher J. Paradise is professor of biology and environmental studies at Davidson College. He teaches introductory biology, ecology, entomology, and topical seminars on ecotoxicology and renewable natural resources. He also occasionally leads a study abroad program in India.  His research evaluates anthropogenic factors that influence insect biodiversity at a variety of scales.  His current research interests include effects of land use patterns on pollinator communities in parks.

A. Malcolm Campbell

A. Malcolm Campbell teaches biology at Davidson College, NC. He received national and international education awards: Genetics Society of America (2013); American Association for the Advancement of Science (2012); and American Society for Cell Biology (2006). He was the founding co-editor in chief of CBE Life Sciences Education; founding director of Genome Consortium for Active Teaching (GCAT); and member of the American Society for Cell Biology governing council (2012–2014).