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Evolution—the Extended Synthesis$
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Massimo Pigliucci and Gerd B. Müller

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780262513678

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262513678.001.0001

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Niche Inheritance

Niche Inheritance

(p.175) 8 Niche Inheritance
Evolution—the Extended Synthesis

John Odling-Smee

The MIT Press

This chapter illustrates the addition of niche construction to evolutionary theory, focusing primarily on the EvoDevo relationship. It elaborates the concept of niche inheritance to illustrate how the various candidate inheritance systems correspond to different components of niche inheritance and considers the principal subcomponents of niche inheritance. The chapter shows that the niche construction theory (NCT) links evolution to ecosystem-level ecology. It suggests that niche construction contributes to the “evo-devo” relationship by improving the contributions of prior evolution to the subsequent development of individual organisms, and by allowing plastic, niche-constructing developing organisms to influence the subsequent evolution of populations.

Keywords:   niche construction theory, evolutionary theory, EvoDevo, niche inheritance, ecosystem-level ecology

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