Evolution of specialization under non-equilibrium population dynamics.

  • Tuomas Nurmi, Kalle Parvinen
  • Published 2013 in Journal of theoretical biology


We analyze the evolution of specialization in resource utilization in a mechanistically underpinned discrete-time model using the adaptive dynamics approach. We assume two nutritionally equivalent resources that in the absence of consumers grow sigmoidally towards a resource-specific carrying capacity. The consumers use resources according to the law of mass-action with rates involving trade-off. The resulting discrete-time model for the consumer population has over-compensatory dynamics. We illuminate the way non-equilibrium population dynamics affect the evolutionary dynamics of the resource consumption rates, and show that evolution to the trimorphic coexistence of a generalist and two specialists is possible due to asynchronous non-equilibrium population dynamics of the specialists. In addition, various forms of cyclic evolutionary dynamics are possible. Furthermore, evolutionary suicide may occur even without Allee effects and demographic stochasticity.

DOI: 10.1016/j.jtbi.2012.12.018

Cite this paper

@article{Nurmi2013EvolutionOS, title={Evolution of specialization under non-equilibrium population dynamics.}, author={Tuomas Nurmi and Kalle Parvinen}, journal={Journal of theoretical biology}, year={2013}, volume={321}, pages={63-77} }