Journal of Mathematical Biology

, Volume 34, Issue 5, pp 485-510

On the changing concept of evolutionary population stability as a reflection of a changing point of view in the quantitative theory of evolution

  • Ilan EshelAffiliated withDepartment of Statistics and/or School of Mathematical Sciences, Sackler Faculty of Exact Sciences, Tel Aviv University

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Eighteen different terms, currently employed to define various concepts of evolutionary stability in population dynamics are mentioned in this paper. Most of these terms are used in different connotations and even different meanings by different authors. On the other hand, different terms are often employed by different authors to define quite the same concept. Twenty-five years ago there was only one, well-defined, concept of stability, universally recognized in the field. In this paper I will try to relate the recent confusion, concerning concepts of population stability, with a more serious, though not that well-recognized, confusion in the modern analytic approach to population dynamics and quantitative evolution. Concepts of population stability will be examined in relation to each other on the one hand and, on the other hand, in relation to two dichotomies regarding the dynamic processes to which they correspond: Short-term versus long-term processes and processes concerning phenotypic changes versus process concerning genotypic changes. A hopefully more consistent use of the current terminology is suggested.

Key words

Dynamic stability ESS Short-term stability Long-term stability