Coevolution  

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Coevolution can occur at multiple levels of biology: it can be as microscopic as correlated mutations between amino acids in a protein, or as macroscopic as covarying traits between different species in an environment. Each party in a coevolutionary relationship exerts selective pressures on the other, thereby affecting each others' evolution. Species-level coevolution includes the evolution of a host species and its parasites, and examples of mutualism evolving through time. Evolution in response to abiotic factors, such as climate change, is not coevolution (since climate is not alive and does not undergo biological evolution). Evolution in a one-on-one interaction, such as that between predator and prey, host-symbiont or host-parasitic pair, is coevolution. But many cases are less clearcut: a species may evolve in response to a number of other species, each of which is also evolving in response to a set of species. This situation has been referred to as "diffuse coevolution". And, certainly, for many organisms, the biotic (living) environment is the most prominent selective pressure, resulting in evolutionary change.

The concept of coevolution was briefly described by Charles Darwin in On the Origin of Species, and developed in detail in Fertilisation of Orchids.



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Coevolution" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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