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dc.contributor.authorScott-Phillips, Thomas C.
dc.contributor.authorLaland, Kevin N.
dc.contributor.authorShuker, David M.
dc.contributor.authorDickins, Thomas E.
dc.contributor.authorWest, Stuart A.
dc.identifier.citationScott-Phillips , T C , Laland , K N , Shuker , D M , Dickins , T E & West , S A 2014 , ' The niche construction perspective : a critical appraisal ' , Evolution , vol. 68 , no. 5 , pp. 1231-1243 .
dc.identifier.otherPURE: 129574692
dc.identifier.otherPURE UUID: 534a1b93-e144-467b-9f78-a56882b6c9fe
dc.identifier.otherWOS: 000335209800001
dc.identifier.otherScopus: 84899897627
dc.identifier.otherWOS: 000335209800001
dc.descriptionFor financial support, the authors thank Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, The Economic and Social Research Council, The Natural Environment Research Council, the Leverhulme Trust, the European Research Council, and the Royal Society.en
dc.description.abstractNiche construction refers to the activities of organisms that bring about changes in their environments, many of which are evolutionarily and ecologically consequential. Advocates of niche construction theory (NCT) believe that standard evolutionary theory fails to recognize the full importance of niche construction, and consequently propose a novel view of evolution, in which niche construction and its legacy over time (ecological inheritance) are described as evolutionary processes, equivalent in importance to natural selection. Here, we subject NCT to critical evaluation, in the form of a collaboration between one prominent advocate of NCT, and a team of skeptics. We discuss whether niche construction is an evolutionary process, whether NCT obscures or clarifies how natural selection leads to organismal adaptation, and whether niche construction and natural selection are of equivalent explanatory importance. We also consider whether the literature that promotes NCT overstates the significance of niche construction, whether it is internally coherent, and whether it accurately portrays standard evolutionary theory. Our disagreements reflect a wider dispute within evolutionary theory over whether the neo-Darwinian synthesis is in need of reformulation, as well as different usages of some key terms (e.g., evolutionary process).
dc.rights© 2013 The Author(s). Evolution published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of The Society for the Study of Evolution. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.en
dc.subjectNatural selectionen
dc.subjectNiche constructionen
dc.subjectEvolutionary synthesisen
dc.subjectInteracting phenotypesen
dc.subjectLactase persistenceen
dc.subjectSocial interactionsen
dc.subjectExtended phenotypeen
dc.subjectUncluive fitnessen
dc.subjectSexual selectionen
dc.subjectKin selectionen
dc.subjectQH301 Biologyen
dc.titleThe niche construction perspective : a critical appraisalen
dc.typeJournal itemen
dc.description.versionPublisher PDFen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews.School of Biologyen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews.Scottish Oceans Instituteen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews.Institute of Behavioural and Neural Sciencesen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews.Centre for Social Learning & Cognitive Evolutionen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews.Centre for Biological Diversityen
dc.description.statusPeer revieweden

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