City Research Online

Towards a replicator dynamics model of age structured populations

Argasinski, K. & Broom, M. ORCID: 0000-0002-1698-5495 (2021). Towards a replicator dynamics model of age structured populations. Journal of Mathematical Biology, 82(5), article number 44. doi: 10.1007/s00285-021-01592-4


We present a new modelling framework combining replicator dynamics, the standard model of frequency dependent selection, with an age-structured population model. The new framework allows for the modelling of populations consisting of competing strategies carried by individuals who change across their life cycle. Firstly the discretization of the McKendrick von Foerster model is derived. We show that the Euler-Lotka equation is satisfied when the new model reaches a steady state (i.e. stable frequencies between the age classes). This discretization consists of unit age classes where the timescale is chosen so that only a fraction of individuals play a single game round. This implies a linear dynamics and individuals not killed during the round are moved to the next age class; linearity means that the system is equivalent to a large Bernadelli-Lewis-Leslie matrix. Then we use the methodology of multipopulation games to derive two, mutually equivalent systems of equations. The first contains equations describing the evolution of the strategy frequencies in the whole population, completed by subsystems of equations describing the evolution of the age structure for each strategy. The second contains equations describing the changes of the general population's age structure, completed with subsystems of equations describing the selection of the strategies within each age class. We then present the obtained system of replicator dynamics in the form of the mixed ODE-PDE system which is independent of the chosen timescale, and much simpler. The obtained results are illustrated by the example of the sex ratio model which shows that when different mortalities of the sexes are assumed, the sex ratio of 0.5 is obtained but that Fisher's mechanism, driven by the reproductive value of the different sexes, is not in equilibrium.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HA Statistics
Q Science > QA Mathematics
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Mathematics
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of Argasinski-Broom2021_Article_TowardsAReplicatorDynamicsMode.pdf]
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution International Public License 4.0.

Download (1MB) | Preview


Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Actions (login required)

Admin Login Admin Login