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Evolution 2nd Edition

Evolution (2nd Edition)

Book Edition2nd Edition
Author(s)Bergstrom, Dugatkin
ISBN9780393937930
PublisherW. W. Norton
SubjectBiology
Section 1.1: A Brief Introduction to Evolution, Natural Selection, and Phylogenetics
KEY CONCEPT QUESTION
Section 1.2: Empirical and Theoretical Approaches to the Study of Evolution

Chapter 1, Section 1.1, KEY CONCEPT QUESTION, Exercise 1.1

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Explanation

Evolutionary studies refer to the information regarding the evolution of a species or organism with respect to its surrounding. Evolution occurs when adaptable changes of an organism are inherited and accumulated over generations, which results in an overall change in the upcoming generations. These changes [evolution] are introduced and tailored by various mechanisms, such as natural selection and genetic drift. These studies can be of immense value for conservational biology.

 

Conservational biology refers to the life science branch that deals with the preservation of life-forms by managing their environment, habitat, and ecosystem. The management of biodiversity can be done with the help of information extracted from evolutionary studies. For instance, the climate is changing rapidly in response to human activities, such as urbanization and industrialization. These changes are destroying natural habitat and ecosystems that will result in the extinction of many species as the adaptation rate is not in pace with climatic change. By evaluating the rate at which any species evolves [this is predicted by studying the ancestry of any species and its evolution], the risk of extinction and in turn the list of endangered species can be made.

 

The protection of endangered species can also be done with the help of evolutionary data. This can be achieved by learning about the environment in which these organisms [species] have adapted in past. The recreation of similar environment will help in preserving them and nurturing them. 

Sample Response

Evolutionary studies can guide about the effects of changing climate [across the world; globally] on a particular species, when the rate of evolution [in species] is known. This, in turn, can help predict the adaptability [to the changing climate] of the species at risk in future.

 

Another important aspect of evolutionary studies that helps in conserving life forms is that they predict the conditions of the environment in which an endangered species has evolved earlier. This can help to modify the present environment accordingly and increase the survival of the species. 

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