, Volume 44, Issue 6, pp 548-560

Invasion dynamics and attractor inheritance

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Abstract

 We study the dynamics of a population of residents that is being invaded by an initially rare mutant. We show that under relatively mild conditions the sum of the mutant and resident population sizes stays arbitrarily close to the initial attractor of the monomorphic resident population whenever the mutant has a strategy sufficiently similar to that of the resident. For stochastic systems we show that the probability density of the sum of the mutant and resident population sizes stays arbitrarily close to the stationary probability density of the monomorphic resident population. Attractor switching, evolutionary suicide as well as most cases of ``the resident strikes back'' in systems with multiple attractors are possible only near a bifurcation point in the strategy space where the resident attractor undergoes a discontinuous change. Away from such points, when the mutant takes over the population from the resident and hence becomes the new resident itself, the population stays on the same attractor. In other words, the new resident ``inherits'' the attractor from its predecessor, the former resident.

Received: 10 December 2000 / Revised version: 14 September 2001 / Published online: 17 May 2002