Eco-evolutionary dynamics of a fluctuating population in a switching environment
Environmental variability greatly influences how the size and composition of a population evolve, i.e. its eco-evolutionary dynamics. In this talk, I will consider a population of finite and fluctuating size whose growth is limited by a binary carrying capacity switching either randomly or periodically in time. This models environmental changes between states of resources abundance and scarcity. The population consists of two strains, one slightly faster than the other, competing under two scenarios: one in which competition is solely for resources, and another one in which the slow ("cooperating") strain produces a public good. I will discuss how the coupling of demographic noise with environmental variability affects the population's eco-evolutionary dynamics. In particular, we will see how the population size distribution and the fixation probability of the slow/cooperative strain are influenced by environmental variability. In the simple model of resource competition these features will be analysed by stressing the similarities and differences of the evolution subject to a randomly/periodically switching environment. In the context of the public good scenario, I will address the question of when it is best to cooperate in a randomly switching environment. If time permits, I will also outline new survival scenarios arising in rock-paper-scissors games in populations of fluctuating size.
This is a weekly series of informal talks focussing on some theoretical aspect of Condensed Matter, Biological, and Statistical Physics..