• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

Adaptation is broadly understood to refer to the response to some type of change by organisms, individuals, and systems. How do organisms respond to habitat loss in the Amazon, and what are the implications for their reproductive success? How will humans react to climate modification in the American Midwest? What livelihood strategies will indigenous communities in Indonesia craft to address the localized effects of globalization? While these questions all direct attention to adaptations, this description of adaptation belies a contested history and the diverse views about the underlying mechanisms that determine responses to change.

Dictionary definitions of adaptation refer to the process of being adapted or adapting in order to make more suitable and improve “fit.” Most environmental science and related texts are consistent with this ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles