The adaptive dynamics of Lotka-Volterra systems with trade-offs

Roger G. Bowers, Andrew White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


We analyse the adaptive dynamics of a generalised type of Lotka-Volterra model subject to an explicit trade-off between two parameters. A simple expression for the fitness of a mutant strategy in an environment determined by the established, resident strategy is obtained leading to general results for the position of the evolutionary singular strategy and the associated second-order partial derivatives of the mutant fitness with respect to the mutant and resident strategies. Combinations of these results can be used to determine the evolutionary behaviour of the system. The theory is motivated by an example of prey evolution in a predator-prey system in which results show that only (non-EUS) evolutionary repellor dynamics, where evolution is directed away from a singular strategy, or dynamics where the singular strategy is an evolutionary attractor, are possible. Moreover, the general theory can be used to show that these results are the only possibility for all Lotka-Volterra systems in which aside from the trade-offs all parameters are independent and in which the interaction terms are of quadratic order or less. The applicability of the theory is highlighted by examining the evolution of an intermediate predator in a tri-trophic model. © 2002 Elsevier Science Inc. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-81
Number of pages15
JournalMathematical Biosciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Adaptive dynamics
  • Lotka-Volterra
  • Speciation
  • Trade-offs


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