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Human niche construction in interdisciplinary focus.

Kendal , J. R. and Tehrani , J. J. and Odling-Smee , J. (2011) 'Human niche construction in interdisciplinary focus.', Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society B : biological sciences., 366 (1566). pp. 785-792.


Niche construction is an endogenous causal process in evolution, reciprocal to the causal process of natural selection. It works by adding ecological inheritance, comprising the inheritance of natural selection pressures previously modified by niche construction, to genetic inheritance in evolution. Human niche construction modifies selection pressures in environments in ways that affect both human evolution, and the evolution of other species. Human ecological inheritance is exceptionally potent because it includes the social transmission and inheritance of cultural knowledge, and material culture. Human genetic inheritance in combination with human cultural inheritance thus provides a basis for gene–culture coevolution, and multivariate dynamics in cultural evolution. Niche construction theory potentially integrates the biological and social aspects of the human sciences. We elaborate on these processes, and provide brief introductions to each of the papers published in this theme issue.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Theme issue on Human Niche Construction. Guest-edited by Kendal, Tehrani & Odling-Smee.
Keywords:Niche construction, Gene–culture coevolution, Cultural evolution, Human evolution.
Full text:Full text not available from this repository.
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Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:No date available
Date of first online publication:18 February 2011
Date first made open access:No date available

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