I am just curious if anyone has favorite books on plant evolution or how flora and fauna converged within evolutionary ecology. Especially interested in the interactions involving plants. Can be about how plant pigment evolved, or about how plants coevolved with fauna such as how they believe pawpaws evolution was affected by the giant sloth, or why so many plants evolved roots and so on.
I have been trying to convince people on this forum that evolution is powered by ecology as Natural Selection with very limited success. It is good to see that you appear to agree with me.
In terms of books that support this view besides my own I would cite A World from Dust by Ben McFarland, A New History of Life by Peter Ward and Joe Kirshvink, The Evolutionary World by Geerat J. Vermeij, and The Social Conquest of the Earth by R. O. Wilson.
Now can you suggest any good books about ecology and evolution?
I have not actually read a single book on evolutionary ecology. It’s mostly just been various papers and blogs. I’ve read great evolution books and ecology books but none that really emphasizes the convergence of the two yet. But I do agree that it’s the overall ecological picture that seems to drive evolution in my opinion. The constant chance of something destroying most of something else except for a few because of a slight difference and then those with that slight difference ends up being the ones pollinated and ect… resulting in them being the genetic material in most of thst species after thousands of years.
Last fall, Scientific American published a special edition called “The Story of Us.” They reprinted a 2014 article by Peter deMenocal about the effects of climate changes in Africa on the evolution of hominins. Other articles in the 2019 special edition also discuss how ancient climates created selection pressures.
About the books on plant evolution, I can’t offer much except to say that The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate by Peter Wohlleben is a fascinating book. If you don’t have time to read the whole book, there’s a summary here.
It’s a great book. I got two versions of it.
I will definitely look them all up and yours as well. I’m assuming it’s the Darwin’s Myth one?
Yes, Darwin’s Myth: Malthus, Ecology, and the Meaning of Life. If you are unable to find it online, please send me a private message and I will make sure you can get a copy…
Are you aware of niche construction theory which is a very fruitful way to combine ecology with evolution, but has been ignored by BioLogos?
I’ve heard a little bit about it. But I have never dug into it. If I remember correctly one of the things brought up was how in Europe there has been so many bird feeders out with a slightly extended tube to feed from and as a result the they’ve noticed the new generations of birds have had slightly longer , but definitely noticeable, beaks
It’s how a species can influence the environment which in return alters how other species interact with the world.
I will have to look it up later.
Just on the topic of plant evolution, I found his article about temperate forests in Antarctica in the Cretaceous to be interesting. How on earth could things live with what the article describes as long-term absence of sunlight? Thanks
Addendum…here is a picture of the plate tectonics of the Cretaceous about 100 million years ago.Antarctica was a bit further north, but not much.