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Ecology and Evolution of Poeciliid Fishes

The history of biology is populated by numerous model species or organisms. But few vertebrate groups have aided evolutionary and ecological research more than the live-bearing fishes of the family Poeciliidae. Found throughout tropical and subtropical waters, poeciliids exhibit a fascinating variety of reproductive specializations, including viviparity, matrotrophy, unisexual reproduction, and alternative mating strategies, making them ideal models for research on patterns and processes in ecology, behavior, and evolution.

Ecology and Evolution of Poeciliid Fishes
is a much-needed overview of the scientific potential and understanding of these live-bearing fishes. Chapters by leading researchers take up a wide range of topics, including the evolution of unisexual reproduction, life in extreme environments, life-history evolution, and genetics. Designed to provide a single and highly approachable reference, Ecology and Evolution of Poeciliid Fishes will appeal to students and specialists interested in all aspects of evolutionary ecology.

Online appendices of additional data are available.

424 pages | 54 maps, 34 line drawings, 25 tables | 8 1/2 x 11 | © 2011

Biological Sciences: Biology--Systematics, Ecology, Evolutionary Biology


“Outstanding. . . . [Ecology and Evolution of Poeciliid Fishes] is an excellent addition to the ichthyology library.”

L. A. Jawad | Journal of Fish Biology

“An excellent volume. . . . Finding these papers all in one book gives the reader a different perspective and context to the entirety of the wonderful world of these diverse, amazing fishes. Highly recommended.”

P. Chakrabarty | Choice

“[A]n outstanding compilation of contributions by the leading scientists in poeciliid research.”

Wilfredo A. Matamoros | Copeia

“Ecological and evolutionary study of the poeciliid fishes has exploded over the past two decades, inspired in large part by the 1989 volume edited by Meffe and Snelson. Now, Jonathan P. Evans, Andrea Pilastro, and Ingo Schlupp have brought together insightful syntheses of recent advances in a wide range of topics in poeciliid evolution, ecology, and reproductive biology. The ‘future directions’ sections alone of these chapters will be of immense value in inspiring research in coming decades and should be required reading for beginning researchers.”

Anne E. Houde, Lake Forest College

“This book is an incredible compilation and contribution on the Poeciliidae, which are among the most studied fishes in the world. The coverage is well organized into twenty-seven relevant and informative chapters by cutting-edge scientists. This work will be eagerly awaited by poeciliid and non-poeciliid researchers. There are many topics that will be of interest to the ichthyological community and other vertebrate biologists, as well.”

Robert C. Cashner, University of New Orleans

Table of Contents

Part I. Reproductive Biology and Life History

1 Gonads, genitals, and reproductive biology

                Hartmut Greven

2 Matrotrophy

                Edie Marsh-Matthews

3 Variation and evolution of reproductive strategies

                Marcelo N. Pires, Amanda Banet, Bart J.A. Pollux, and David N. Reznick

4 Ecological drivers of life-history divergence

                Jerald B. Johnson and Justin C. Bagley

5 Evolution of unisexual reproduction

                Ingo Schlupp and Rüdiger Riesch

Part II. Evolutionary Ecology

6 Evolutionary and plastic responses to resource availability

                Gregory F. Grether and Gita R. Kolluru

7 Sensory ecology

                Seth William Coleman

8 Poeciliid parasites

                Joanne Cable

9 Community assembly and mode of reproduction: predicting the distribution of livebearing fishes

                Joel C. Trexler, Donald L. DeAngelis, and Jiang Jiang

10 Speciation and hybridization

                Gil G. Rosenthal and Francisco J. Garcia de León

11 Living in extreme environments

                Michael Tobler and Martin Plath

12 Evolutionary conservation biology

                Craig A. Stockwell and Sujan M. Henkanaththegedara

Part III. Behavior and Cognition

13 Group living

                Jens Krause, Richard James, and Darren P. Croft

14 Innovation and social learning

                Mike M. Webster and Kevin N. Laland

15 Cognition

                Angelo Bisazza

16 Predation risk and decision making in poeciliid prey

                Jennifer L. Kelley and Culum Brown

Part IV. Sexual Selection

17 Precopulatory sexual selection

                Oscar Rios-Cardenas and Molly Morris

18 Postcopulatory sexual selection

                Jonathan P. Evans and Andrea Pilastro

19 Sexual coercion

                Anne E. Magurran

20 Information societies: communication networks and sexual selection

                Matt Druen and Lee A. Dugatkin

21 Genital evolution      

                R. Brian Langerhans

Part V. Genetics

22 Genetic variation in natural populations

                Felix Breden and Anna K. Lindholm

23 Genetics of male guppy color patterns

                Robert C. Brooks and Erik Postma

24 A primer of sex determination

Manfred Schartl, Delphine Galiana-Arnoux, Christina Schultheis, Astrid Böhne, and Jean-Nicolas Volff

25 Evolutionary genetics and molecular ecology of the major histocompatability complex genes

                Mark McMullan and Cock van Oosterhout

26 Oncogenetics

                Manfred Schartl and Svenja Meierjohann

Part VI. Conclusions

27 Integrative commentary on Ecology and Evolution of Poeciliid Fishes

                John A. Endler

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