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I was curious to read about what Darwin had to say about the existance of locally adapted subpopulations. I discovered to my surprise that the expressions and terms "local adaptation", "spatial heterogeneity" (or just "heterogeneity" even) and "environment" are completely absent from On the origin of Species. The expression "local conditions" was found 12 times but I could not find a place where he would suggest subpopulation of the same species could be locally adapted to their environmental conditions.

Who were the first authors to talk about subpopulations being locally adapted to their environmental conditions? Who were the first authors to understand the role that migration plays in reducing local adaptation?

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  • $\begingroup$ Darwin mentions adaptation and coadaptation ample times in The Origin. All adaptation is local, I submit. The word adaptation comes to us from natural theology as Chambers showed in a later edition of Vestiges of Creation. $\endgroup$ – user56930 Dec 24 '19 at 10:47
  • $\begingroup$ “… ‘second, of another impulse connected with the vital forces, tending, in the course of generations, to modify organic structures in accordance with external circumstances, as food, the nature of the habitat, and the meteoric agencies, these being the 'adaptations' of the natural theologian’." 10 ed. Of Vestiges of Creation, quoted by Darwin a later ORIGIN $\endgroup$ – user56930 Dec 24 '19 at 11:29

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