University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Isaac Newton Institute Seminar Series > Plenary Lecture 5: Survival of the unfit - how demographic noise can create suboptimal species

Plenary Lecture 5: Survival of the unfit - how demographic noise can create suboptimal species

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Mustapha Amrani.

Understanding Microbial Communities; Function, Structure and Dynamics

Co-author: Alan J McKane (University of Manchester)

Competition between individuals drives the evolution of whole species. When the fittest individuals survive the longest and produce the most offspring, it is conventionally assumed that the resulting species will therefore also be optimally fit. In fact, this reasoning is not always correct. Using theoretical analysis and stochastic simulations of a simple model ecology, we demonstrate how the fitness of evolved populations depends on the detail of the competitive interaction. In particular, if competition is mediated by the consumption of a common resource then demographic noise leads to the stabilisation of species with near minimal fitness.

Related Links: http://arxiv.org/abs/1407.3137 – Perprint describing the work in detail

This talk is part of the Isaac Newton Institute Seminar Series series.

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