The Necessity of Population Genetics for Understanding Evolution: An Ecologist’s View

  • A. A. Dhondt
Conference paper


Evolutionary changes are changes in gene frequencies in a population over time. For these changes to be adaptive they must be caused by natural selection acting through differential survival or reproduction of individuals which differ in genotype. Changes in gene frequencies that cannot be related to changes in phenotype may illustrate that natural selection has operated and that (micro)evolutionary changes have taken place. They do not, however, help us to understand how evolution proceeds (changes in isoenzyme frequencies would fall into this category). The knowledge of population genetics unrelated to phenotype is thus not really sufficient to understand how evolution proceeds.


Migration Europe Covariance Ornithol 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. A. Dhondt
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of Antwerp, V.I.A.Antwerpen (Wilrijk)Belgium

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