• Peter Calow
Part of the Tertiary Level Biology book series (TLB)


The last chapter defined fitness in terms of the relative spread of genes through gene pools, i.e. in terms of the effect of natural selection. The link between the spread of a gene and the gene itself, however, is dependent upon how it interacts with its environment, and this it does, not directly but through a gene-controlled intermediary, the phenotype. It is therefore relevant to consider why certain phenotypes are better at promoting gene-transmission (i.e. are fitter) than others under given ecological circumstances; i.e. the cause of selection. This approach is referred to as the adaptationist programme and combines a consideration of the form and function of phenotypes and their ecology and evolution.


Optimality Theory Group Selection Evolutionary Principle Selfish Gene Adaptationist Programme 
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Copyright information

© Blackie & Son Ltd 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Calow
    • 1
  1. 1.University of GlasgowUK

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