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A complexity drain on cells in the evolution of multicellularity.

Publication ,  Journal Article
McShea, DW
Published in: Evolution; international journal of organic evolution
March 2002

A hypothesis has been advanced recently predicting that, in evolution, as higher-level entities arise from associations of lower-level organisms, and as these entities acquire the ability to feed, reproduce, defend themselves, and so on, the lower-level organisms will tend to lose much of their internal complexity (McShea 2001a). In other words, in hierarchical transitions, there is a drain on numbers of part types at the lower level. One possible rationale is that the transfer of functional demands to the higher level renders many part types at the lower level useless, and thus their loss in evolution is favored by selection for economy. Here, a test is conducted at the cell level, comparing numbers of part types in free-living eukaryotic cells (protists) and the cells of metazoans and land plants. Differences are significant and consistent with the hypothesis, suggesting that tests at other hierarchical levels may be worthwhile.

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Published In

Evolution; international journal of organic evolution

DOI

EISSN

1558-5646

ISSN

0014-3820

Publication Date

March 2002

Volume

56

Issue

3

Start / End Page

441 / 452

Related Subject Headings

  • Trees
  • Rats
  • Rabbits
  • Models, Biological
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Cell Physiological Phenomena
  • Biological Evolution
  • Animals
  • 3104 Evolutionary biology
  • 3103 Ecology
 

Citation

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McShea, D. W. (2002). A complexity drain on cells in the evolution of multicellularity. Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution, 56(3), 441–452. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0014-3820.2002.tb01357.x
McShea, Daniel W. “A complexity drain on cells in the evolution of multicellularity.Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution 56, no. 3 (March 2002): 441–52. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0014-3820.2002.tb01357.x.
McShea DW. A complexity drain on cells in the evolution of multicellularity. Evolution; international journal of organic evolution. 2002 Mar;56(3):441–52.
McShea, Daniel W. “A complexity drain on cells in the evolution of multicellularity.Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution, vol. 56, no. 3, Mar. 2002, pp. 441–52. Epmc, doi:10.1111/j.0014-3820.2002.tb01357.x.
McShea DW. A complexity drain on cells in the evolution of multicellularity. Evolution; international journal of organic evolution. 2002 Mar;56(3):441–452.
Journal cover image

Published In

Evolution; international journal of organic evolution

DOI

EISSN

1558-5646

ISSN

0014-3820

Publication Date

March 2002

Volume

56

Issue

3

Start / End Page

441 / 452

Related Subject Headings

  • Trees
  • Rats
  • Rabbits
  • Models, Biological
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Cell Physiological Phenomena
  • Biological Evolution
  • Animals
  • 3104 Evolutionary biology
  • 3103 Ecology