Information in the Environment

Christopher J. Paradise and A. Malcolm Campbell

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This book identifies the commonalities between communication within a species and communication between species. Behavior and exchange of non-heritable information occurs between individuals of different species, in animals and plants, in order to exploit other species and compete for resources. Several examples of adaptations of one species to exploit the information passed between individuals of another species are given. This book describes how animals make decisions while gathering information and resources, selecting habitat, and interacting with potential competitors. Plants grow in response to nutrients in soil, which may require gene regulation in response to information in the environment. Information is also exhibited in biodiversity, in the number and types of species present, and this information is used by other organisms as they assess their surroundings. The information content of ecological systems changes when species are added or lost.

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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).