Chasing the Red Queen: The Evolutionary Race Between by Dr. Andy Dyer

By Dr. Andy Dyer

In the race to feed the world’s seven billion humans, we're at a standstill. during the last century, we have now built more and more powerful and complex insecticides, but in 2014, the common percent of U.S. vegetation misplaced to agricultural pests was once at least in 1944. to take advantage of a metaphor the sphere of evolutionary biology borrowed from Alice in Wonderland, farmers needs to run ever quicker to stick within the related place—i.e., produce a similar yields.

With Chasing the crimson Queen, Andy Dyer bargains the 1st booklet to use the crimson Queen speculation to agriculture. He illustrates that after choice strain raises, species evolve in reaction, making a endless, perpetually-escalating festival among predator (us) and prey (bugs and weeds). the result's farmers are stuck in a vicious cycle of chemical dependence, caught utilizing more and more risky and dear toxics to overcome again steadily resistant pests.

to wreck the cycle, we needs to study the technology in the back of it. Dyer examines one of many world’s so much urgent difficulties as a organic case learn. He offers key options, from Darwin’s ideas of ordinary choice to genetic edition and adaptive phenotypes. figuring out the basics of ecology and biology is step one to “playing the pink Queen,” and escaping her unwinnable race. The book’s novel body may also help scholars, researchers, and policy-makers alike follow that wisdom to the serious activity of attaining nutrition security.

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Additional info for Chasing the Red Queen: The Evolutionary Race Between Agricultural Pests and Poisons

Example text

The process of farming is highly mechanized and geared toward the sowing, cultivating, and harvesting of vast expanses of farmland, expanses well beyond the grandest visions of the traditional farmer or the financial capacity of the modern family farmer. The process has been simplified such that each item of the equipment itself often has only a single purpose, and the size of the equipment is commensurate with the scale of the farming effort. One consequence of this change in scale has been a change in attitude toward the land itself.

Those few survivors must have, on average, a greater ability to avoid predators or to gain the food resources they need, or to find a mate or to defend a territory or, in general, to have a greater ability to withstand the stresses of the environment. At any time in any particular environment, certain characteristics will be more valuable for survival than others, so those individuals that survive do so because they possess the necessary characteristics for survival in that particular environment.

Production was limited by muscle power that was provided by humans with hand tools and by animals pulling rudimentary equipment. Harvesting was a manpower issue; one could not reasonably harvest more crops than the family was capable of maintaining and storing in the time allotted. More recently, farming was facilitated by motorized equipment, such as tractors, to pull implements for cultivating the soil and harvesting the crops. As the technology advanced the capacity to farm, larger tracts of land were cultivated.

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