Extreme Environmental Stress: Asymmetry, Metabolic Cost and Conservation

  • P. A. Parsons
Part of the Monographs in Evolutionary Biology book series (MEBI)


Fisher (1930) in The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection wrote “If therefore an organism be really in any high degree adapted to the place it fills in the environment, this adaptation will be constantly menaced by any undirected agencies liable to cause changes to either party in the adaptation”. In using this quote in an article on Genetics of resistance to environmental stresses in Drosophila populations, (Parsons, 1973), I then added that “Environmental stresses of a man-made type are going to assume progressively more prominence with time, especially as they can be regarded as rather more ‘directed’ than Fisher’s ‘undirected’ agencies.” At that time, the main ‘directed’ agency consisted of various chemicals such as insecticides. Now we have a far more insidious scene comprising increased concentration of C02 and less-abundant atmospheric gases including chloro-fluorocarbons (CFCs), all implying substantial exchange of materials between terrestrial systems and the atmosphere (Mooney et al., 1987). The impact of CFCs is a likely depletion of stratospheric O3 so diminishing its role as a protective absorber of short-wave radiation (Cicerone, 1987).


Fluctuate Bilateral Asymmetry Desiccation Resistance Climatic Match Ronmental Stress Drosophila Population 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. A. Parsons
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Science and TechnologyGriffith UniversityBrisbaneAustralia

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