Weitz Group @ Georgia Tech Theoretical Ecology and Quantitative Biology

Predicting the variability among parallel evolutionary trajectories (a new paper in TPB)

Posted by jsweitz

Along with collaborators, Carl Boettiger and Jonathan Dushoff, we have recently published an article in Theoretical Population Biology describing the increase/decrease in trait variation among populations evolving in parallel. The full article "Fluctuation domains in adaptive evolution" is available here.

In doing so, we extended Ulf Dieckmann's work on the canonical equation of adaptive dynamics to derive a "canonical variation equation" for phenotypic evolution. The increase or decrease in the trait variation among populations is shown to depend on the curvature of the fitness landscape. When the curvature is positive (as near fitness minima or branching points), evolution will lead to increases in trait variation. When the curvature is negative (as near fitness maxima), evolution will lead to decreases in trait variation.

A software package used to simulate parallel evolutionary trajectories can be found on our downloads section.