Extended evolution: A conceptual framework for integrating regulatory networks and niche construction

Manfred Laubichler, Jürgen Renn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations


This paper introduces a conceptual framework for the evolution of complex systems based on the integration of regulatory network and niche construction theories. It is designed to apply equally to cases of biological, social and cultural evolution. Within the conceptual framework we focus especially on the transformation of complex networks through the linked processes of externalization and internalization of causal factors between regulatory networks and their corresponding niches and argue that these are an important part of evolutionary explanations. This conceptual framework extends previous evolutionary models and focuses on several challenges, such as the path-dependent nature of evolutionary change, the dynamics of evolutionary innovation and the expansion of inheritance systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)565-577
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Experimental Zoology Part B: Molecular and Developmental Evolution
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2015


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology

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