A Primer of Ecological Geneticsby J. K. Conner; D. L. Hartl

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  • A Primer of Ecological Genetics by J. K. Conner; D. L. HartlReview by: Jaroslav Pilek and Jan ZimaFolia Geobotanica, Vol. 41, No. 2 (2006), p. 237Published by: SpringerStable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4201449 .Accessed: 15/06/2014 22:35

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  • Bookreviews 237

    BOOKREVIEWS

    J.K. Conner & D.L. Hartl: A PRIMER OF ECOLOGICAL GENETICS; Sinauer Associates, Inc., Sunderland, Massachusetts, 2004, 304 pp. Price GBP 23.99, ISBN 0-87893-202-X (pbk.)

    The journal Molecular Ecology, which represents a relatively new branch of biology enters already the 15th year of its existence. Yet, we see that this subject has only started to be lectured at universities in Central and Eastern Europe. One of the reasons behind it is the lack of suitable textbooks. We believe the Primer reviewed here has the potential to fill this gap.

    The book has four main concepts. The first topic deals with principles of population genetics (ideal population, Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium and forces affecting allele frequencies). The second subject area introduces methodology used in quantitative genetics (measurement of genetic variation, phenotypic plasticity and genotype x environmental interaction, and principles of QTL mapping). In the third part, which can be considered as the core of molecular ecology, the authors review methods of measuring the effect of natural selection on phenotypes. Finally in the closing part of the book, the authors provide four examples of applied molecular ecology covering conservation genetics, evolution of invasive species, escape of genetically modified organisms, and evolution of resistance to pesticides and antibiotics.

    In this way, the book includes basic concepts in population and quantitative genetics, and focuses on the interface of ecology, evolution and genetics. Phenotypic adaptation is considered the central theme of ecological genetics, and fitness is related to particular characteristics of genotypes. This approach partly neglects the ecological factors able to form the pattern of genetic variation. Recent studies of functional genomics showing possible adaptations of genotype to new environments, and/or detection of spreading of new alleles (selection sweep) could be valuable additions to discussion in certain chapters.

    It is not only the contents of the textbook mentioned in the previous paragraph but also the style of writing and ability of the authors to explain and make clear all subjects covered which add to the value of the publication. The book is supplemented by numerous figures and fully resolved problems. Mathematics is not avoided but in the majority of cases the formulae are first derived in a verbal model and math is used to formalize such model. In addition, separate boxes are used throughout the book to introduce other relevant concepts (e.g., statistical testing).

    Although more advanced readers may wish to use more special textbooks (population genetics: HARTL & CLARK 1989; quantitative genetics: LYNCH & WALCH 1997), we found this book as indispensable reading for undergraduate students and an excellent basis for courses of molecular ecology for potential lecturers.

    REFERENCES

    HARTL D.L. & CLARK A.G. (1989): Principles ofpopulation genetics. Sinauer Assoc., Inc., Sunderland. LYNCH M. & WALCH B. (1997): Genetics and analysis of quantitative traits. Sinauer Assoc., Inc., Sunderland.

    Jaroslav Pialek & Jan Zima Institute of Vertebrate Biology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Kvitn6 8, CZ-603 65 Brno, Czech Republic

    R. Ferriere, U. Dieckmann & D. Couvet (eds.): EVOLUTIONARY CONSERVATION BIOLOGY; Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2004, xvi + 428 pp. Price GBP 55.-, ISBN 0-521-82700-0

    The current challenge to conservation biology is to investigate large spatial and temporal scales over which ecological and evolutionary processes become closely intertwined. Conservation biology has developed along three rather disconnected lines of fundamental research and practical implications: conservation demography, conservation genetics, and conservation ecology. It is urgent to integrate these currently disparate areas into a unified framework. This book attempts to study all patterns of biodiversity moulded by a variety of evolutionary processes in an integrated concept of evolutionary conservation biology.

    The book has been published within the series of the Cambridge Studies in Adaptive Dynamics that highlights novel concepts and techniques for ecological and evolutionary research, with the aim to help graduate students and researchers to use the new methods in their own studies. The chapters of the book were written by an international team including 30 authors who are among the leading and most active scientists working in the field of conservation biology today. It is well-known that editing such a multi-authored volume can be a hard

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    Article Contentsp. 237

    Issue Table of ContentsFolia Geobotanica, Vol. 41, No. 2 (2006), pp. 121-240Front MatterCo-Occurring Graminoid and Forb Species Do Not Differ in Their Root Morphological Response to Soil Heterogeneity [pp. 121-135]Effect of Population Size on the Prospect of Species Survival [pp. 137-150]Relationships between Vegetation and Climate on the Loess Plateau in China [pp. 151-163]The Influence of Genotype and Environment on the Fecundity and Facultative Expression of Apomixis in Hieracium pilosella [pp. 165-181]Possible Pathways of the Gene Flow in Taraxacum Sect. Ruderalia [pp. 183-201]Hybridization Studies in Silene Subgen. Petrocoptis (Caryophyllaceae) [pp. 203-212]Taxonomic Studies of the Muscari botryoides Complex in Hungary [pp. 213-228]Limonium failachicum (Plumbaginaceae): New and So Far the Only Endemic Plant from Kuwait [pp. 229-235]Book ReviewsReview: untitled [p. 237]Review: untitled [pp. 237-238]Review: untitled [pp. 238-239]Review: untitled [p. 239]Review: untitled [p. 240]Review: untitled [p. 240]

    Back Matter

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