, Volume 112, Issue 1, pp 9-32

First online:

The adaptive landscape as a conceptual bridge between micro- and macroevolution

  • Stevan J. ArnoldAffiliated withDepartment of Zoology, Oregon State University
  • , Michael E. PfrenderAffiliated withDepartment of Zoology, Oregon State University
  • , Adam G. JonesAffiliated withDepartment of Zoology, Oregon State University

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An adaptive landscape concept outlined by G.G. Simpson constitutes the major conceptual bridge between the fields of micro- and macroevolutionary study. Despite some important theoretical extensions since 1944, this conceptual bridge has been ignored in many empirical studies. In this article, we review the status of theoretical work and emphasize the importance of models for peak movement. Although much theoretical work has been devoted to evolution on stationary, unchanging landscapes, an important new development is a focus on the evolution of the landscape itself. We also sketch an agenda of empirical issues that is inspired by theoretical developments.

adaptive landscape macroevolution microevolution phenotypic evolution quantitative genetics selection surface selective line of least resistance