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Evolutionary processes resulting from the accumulation of minor changes over a relatively short period of time; evolutionary changes due to gene mutation.
Evolution of species.



the aggregate of the actuating evolutionary processes occurring within isolated or neighboring populations of a given species. (Populations here are considered as the elementary evolutionary structure; mutations—the basis for genetic variation—as the elementary evolutionary material; and the mutation process, the waves of life, various forms of isolation, and natural selection, as the elementary evolutionary factors.)

Under the pressure of evolutionary factors, change occurs in the genotypic composition of a population—the leading actuating mechanism of the evolutionary process. The term “micro-evolution,” as counterposed to macroevolution, was once used by certain evolutionists to mean variability and the development of forms within a species. Modern microevolutionary theory developed after the synthesis of genetics and classical Darwinism. The basis for the theory was laid by the Soviet geneticist S. S. Chetverikov in 1926 and the English geneticist R. A. Fisher in 1930. In the modern view (sometimes called the synthetic theory of evolution), all of the basic actuating mechanisms of evolution on all levels occur within species—that is, on the microevolutionary level. Microevolution culminates in species formation—in other words, in the appearance of species that are reproductively isolated from the original and all other closely related species. For this reason, there are no distinctions in principle between microevolution and macroevolution, which differ only in their temporal and spatial scale.

Successful research on the microevolutionary level necessitates the synthesis of populational-genetic experiments and quantitative descriptions of the processes of population dynamics and ecology, study of ethological phenomena, analytical application of the theoretical propositions of genetics, and mathematical models of intrapopulational and interpopulational processes.


Chetverikov, S. S. “O nekotorykh momentakh evoliutsionnogo protsessa s tochki zreniia sovremennoi genetiki.” Zhurnal eksperimentaVnoi biologii, 1926, vol. 2, issue 1.
Timofeev-Resovskii, N. V. “Mikroevoliutsiia.” Botanicheskii zhurnal, 1958. vol. 43, no. 3.
Shmal’gauzen, I. I. Faktory evoliutsii, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1968.
Mayr, E. Zoologicheskii vid i evoliutsiia. Moscow, 1968. (Translated from English.)
Mayr, E. Printsipy zoologicheskoi sistematiki. Moscow, 1971. (Translated from English.)
Timofeev-Resovskii, N. V., N. N. Vorontsov, and A. V. lablokov. Kratkii ocherk teorii evoliutsii. Moscow, 1969.
Fisher, R. A. The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection. Oxford, 1930.
Huxley, J. Evolution: The Modern Synthesis, 2nd ed. London, 1963.


References in periodicals archive ?
The freeware models available now are limited in their usefulness for describing microevolution in some significant aspects.
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Wherever the cutoff is perceived, the same terminology is used: microevolution (anything to the left of the acceptable limit) is attributable to natural processes, but macroevolution (anything to the right of this point) requires a new explanation--direct creation by God.
In evolutionary biology, a strong obstacle to developing such educational activities is the difficulty of observing microevolution in action within a semester.
The idea that microevolution happens faster in warmer environments is not new.
For domestication is a fascinating biological and bioarchaeological phenomenon, a form of microevolution where humans contribute to a varying degree in the changes in some plants and animals, particularly over the past 10 000 years.
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The central question of the conference was whether the mechanisms underlying microevolution, seen as changes within a population, can be extrapolated to explain the phenomenon of macroevolution, seen as changes above species level leading to the origin of new species.