Coevolution is the process of reciprocal evolutionary change between interacting species, driven by natural selection. It is one of the major processes organizing the Earth's biodiversity into interrelated communities of species.

Keywords: biodiversity; community organization; conservation; genetic diversity; macroevolution

Further Reading

Burdon JJ (1997) The evolution of gene‐for‐gene interactions in natural pathosystems. In: Crute IR, Holub EB and Burdon JJ (eds) The Gene‐for‐Gene Relationship in Plant–Parasite Interactions, pp. 245–262. Walingford, UK: CAB International.

Davies NB and Brooke M de L (1989) An experimental study of co‐evolution between the cuckoo, Cuculus canornus, and its hosts. II. Host egg markings, chick discrimination and general discussion. Journal of Animal Ecology 58: 225–236.

Douglas AE (1994) Symbiotic Interactions. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Ebert D and Hamilton WD (1996) Sex against virulence: the coevolution of parasitic diseases. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 11: 79–82.

Farrell BD and Mitter C (1998) The timing of insect/plant diversification: might Tetraopes (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) and Asclepias (Asclepiadaceae) have co‐evolved? Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 63: 553–577.

Lively CM (1996) Host–parasite coevolution and sex. BioScience 46: 107–114.

Margulis L (1993) Symbiosis and Cell Evolution, 2nd edn. New York: WH Freeman & Sons.

May RM and Anderson RM (1990) Parasite–host coevolution. Parasitology 100: 89–101.

Pellmyr O, Thompson JN, Brown JM and Harrison RG (1996) Evolution of pollination mutualism in the yucca moth lineage. American Naturalist 148: 827–847.

Schluter D (1994) Experimental evidence that competition promotes divergence in adaptive radiation. Science 266: 798–801.

Thompson JN (1994) The Coevolutionary Process. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

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How to Cite close
Thompson, John N(Apr 2001) Coevolution. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0001761]