Evolutionary Ecology

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 35–57

Evolutionarily singular strategies and the adaptive growth and branching of the evolutionary tree

  • S.A.H. Geritz
  • E´. Kisdi
  • G. Mesze´NA
  • J.A.J. Metz

DOI: 10.1023/A:1006554906681

Cite this article as:
Geritz, S., Kisdi, E., Mesze´NA, G. et al. Evolutionary Ecology (1998) 12: 35. doi:10.1023/A:1006554906681


We present a general framework for modelling adaptive trait dynamics in which we integrate various concepts and techniques from modern ESS-theory. The concept of evolutionarily singular strategies is introduced as a generalization of the ESS-concept. We give a full classification of the singular strategies in terms of ESS-stability, convergence stability, the ability of the singular strategy to invade other populations if initially rare itself, and the possibility of protected dimorphisms occurring within the singular strategy's neighbourhood. Of particular interest is a type of singular strategy that is an evolutionary attractor from a great distance, but once in its neighbourhood a population becomes dimorphic and undergoes disruptive selection leading to evolutionary branching. Modelling the adaptive growth and branching of the evolutionary tree can thus be considered as a major application of the framework. A haploid version of Levene's ‘soft selection’ model is developed as a specific example to demonstrate evolutionary dynamics and branching in monomorphic and polymorphic populations.

adaptive dynamics evolutionarily singular strategy evolutionary branching evolutionary modelling 

Copyright information

© Chapman and Hall 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • S.A.H. Geritz
    • 1
  • E´. Kisdi
    • 2
  • G. Mesze´NA
    • 3
  • J.A.J. Metz
    • 4
  1. 1.Institute of Evolutionary and Ecological SciencesLeidenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of GeneticsEo¨tvo¨s University, Mu´zeum krt.BudapestHungary
  3. 3.Department of Atomic PhysicsEo¨tvo¨s University, Puskin u.BudapestHungary
  4. 4.International Institute for Applied System AnalysesLaxenburgAustria