Natural Selection Paper

Topics: Evolution, DNA, Gene Pages: 5 (1518 words) Published: October 4, 2008
Natural Selection Paper
Natural selection is considered one of the most important processes for a variety of species and the environment which allows the fittest organisms to produce offspring. To prevent a species from extinction, it is necessary for them to adapt to the surrounding environment. The species which have the ability to adapt to new surroundings will be able to pass their genes through reproduction. Within the process of natural selection, it is possible for the original genetic make-up of a species to become altered. The team will report on the different processes of basic mechanisms of evolution, how natural selection results in biodiversity and why biodiversity is important to continued evolution. The sources of genetic variation such as mutations and sexual recombination will also be reviewed. Mechanisms of Evolution

It is said that biology “came of age” when Charles Darwin published “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection”. In this book Darwin expressed his concept on the mechanism of evolution: natural selection. He felt that a population could change over generations if organisms that have certain heritable traits left more offspring than other organisms in that population. The result of this is evolutionary adaptation is where populations increase in traits that are suited to the environment. Evolution is when the genetic makeup of a population changes over time to adapt to its environment. Darwin found evidence of natural selection when he sailed from Great Britain along the South American coastline in 1831. He noticed various adaptations in the organisms inhabiting South America. He realized that the plants and animals were distinctly different from the organisms in Europe. Upon examination of different fossils on the South American continent he observed that the fossils were different from the modern species and yet there was still a resemblance between the fossils and the modern organisms. In his book The Origin of Species Darwin stated that as descendants of the earliest life forms spread into various habitats, over time, they accumulated different adaptations to diverse ways of life. In his view, evolution is like a tree with the various branches representing the evolution of different traits from a common trunk. (this needs to be cited) How Natural Selection results in Biodiversity

Natural selection is based upon a couple of important facts that result in unequal reproductive success. First, overpopulation and competition will affect the population of any species and individual variation will make some individuals more likely to survive and pass on these variations to their offspring (Campbell, et al, 2007). Second, adaptation is a mechanism for evolution due to generations of natural selection weeding out individuals that do not have the trait that is dominant at survival. Biodiversity is short for biological diversity which consists of three main concepts: Ecosystem variety, species variety, and genetic variation within the species. These three biodiversity variables connect closely with the concepts of natural selection.

Natural selection results in biodiversity in the following ways; overpopulation and competition are the primary considerations in the operation and success of an ecosystem. If there is no diversity in the species that exist in the ecosystems, there will be overpopulation and competition for the same foods and habitat. By the adaptation of the variety of species to non-competing food and habitat, an ecosystem can support itself. The species that successfully adapt to the non-competition will be more successful at survival and natural selection occurs. An example of adaptation and sharing an ecosystem is the savannah of Africa. Each of the species interacts with its environment in a cycle of giving nutrients and taking nutrients. The diverse species co-exist and actually contribute in some degree to the welfare of the other species. When...

References: Alters, Sandra, 2004, Biology Understanding Life, 3e, Jones and Bartlett Publishers
Sudbury, Massachusetts
Campbell, N.A., Reece, J.B., Simon, E.J., 2007, Essential Biology with Physiology, 2e,
Pearson Education, Inc. San Francisco, CA
Campbell, N.A., Reece, J.B., Simon, E.J., 2004, Essential Biology with Physiology, 1e,
Pearson Education, Inc. San Francisco, CA
DARC, 2008, retrieved August 8, 2008 from;
Lederberg, J. 1967. Lederberg Replies. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, June, Vol. 23 Issue 6, pp. 60-61.
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