Weitz Group @ Georgia Tech Theoretical Ecology and Quantitative Biology

Fluctuation domains in adaptive evolution

TitleFluctuation domains in adaptive evolution
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsBoettiger C, Dushoff J, Weitz JS
JournalTheoretical Population Biology
Start Page6
Date Published02/2010

We derive an expression for the variation between parallel trajectories in phenotypic evolution, extending the well known result that predicts the mean evolutionary path in adaptive dynamics or quantitative genetics. We show how this expression gives rise to the notion of fluctuation domains - parts of the fitness landscape where the rate of evolution is very predictable (due to fluctuation dissipation) and parts where it is highly variable (due to fluctuation enhancement). These fluctuation domains are determined by the curvature of the fitness landscape. Regions of the fitness landscape with positive curvature, such as adaptive valleys or branching points, experience enhancement. Regions with negative curvature, such as adaptive peaks, experience dissipation. We explore these dynamics in the ecological scenarios of implicit and explicit competition for a limiting resource.

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