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The Adaptive Landscape in Evolutionary Biology$
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Erik Svensson and Ryan Calsbeek

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199595372

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199595372.001.0001

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A Shifting Terrain: A Brief History of the Adaptive Landscape

A Shifting Terrain: A Brief History of the Adaptive Landscape

(p.3) Chapter 1 A Shifting Terrain: A Brief History of the Adaptive Landscape
The Adaptive Landscape in Evolutionary Biology

Michael R. Dietrich

Robert A. Skipper

Oxford University Press

This chapter traces the origins and conceptual lineages of the adaptive landscape concept and its representations. While Armand Janet's 1895 concept arguably marks the origin of the adaptive landscape concept and even its graphic representation, Janet's concept had very limited impact when compared to Sewall Wright's concept from 1932. As part of his effort to reconcile Mendelian genetics and Darwinian evolution in his shifting balance theory, Wright offered the metaphor of the adaptive landscape and its topographic representation as a way of depicting the effect of variations in population size, migration, and the strength of selection. Wright's genetic version of the adaptive landscape inspired other versions of the adaptive landscape based on phenotypic changes and on molecular changes. As a result, the history of the adaptive landscape is described in terms of three lineages based on the material basis of the adaptive landscape: the genetic landscape, the phenotypic landscape, and the molecular landscape.

Keywords:   Sewall Wright, adaptive landscape, genetic landscape, phenotypic landscape, molecular landscape

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