Thoughts on the Geometry of Meso-evolution: Collecting Mathematical Elements for a Postmodern Synthesis

Part of the Mathematics and Biosciences in Interaction book series (MBI)


Adaptive dynamics (AD) is a recently developed framework geared towards making the transition from micro-evolution to long-term evolution based on a time scale separation approximation. This assumption allows defining the fitness of a mutant as the rate constant of initial exponential growth of the mutant population in the environment created by the resident community dynamics. This definition makes that all resident types have fitness zero. If in addition it is assumed that mutational steps are small, evolution can be visualized as an uphill walk in a fitness landscape that keeps changing as a result of the evolution it engenders. The chapter summarises the main tools for analysing special eco-evolutionary models based on these simplifications. In addition it describes a number of general predictions that directly derive from the AD perspective a such, without making any further assumptions.


Adaptive dynamics Fitness landscapes Evo-devo Meso-evolution Macro-evolution Internal selection Speciation 


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© Springer Basel AG 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Biology and Mathematical InstituteLeidenNetherlands
  2. 2.Evolution and Ecology ProgramIIASALaxenburgAustria

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