Evolution of reproductive effort in viscous populations: the importance of population dynamics


Sébastien Lion, School of Biological Sciences,
Royal Holloway University of London, Egham, TW20 0EX, UK.
Tel.: +44 1784 414369; fax: +44 1784 414224;
e-mail: slion@biologie.ens.fr


I present two ecological models for the evolution of reproductive effort in viscous populations with empty sites. In contrast with previous studies, I show that limited dispersal needs not have a positive effect on the evolutionarily stable allocation of resources to fecundity versus survival. Rather, depending on the feedback between the trait and the population dynamics, population viscosity may have no effect or even lead to a decrease in the evolutionarily stable reproductive effort when individuals can degrade their environment during their lifetime. I show that the different evolutionary outcomes can be explained by the asymmetry in the level of kin competition resulting from investing into juveniles or into adults.