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Evolutionarily stable levels of aposematic defence in prey populations

Scaramangas, A. ORCID: 0000-0003-3132-5425, Broom, M. ORCID: 0000-0002-1698-5495, Ruxton, G. D. & Rouviere, A. (2023). Evolutionarily stable levels of aposematic defence in prey populations. Theoretical Population Biology, 153, pp. 15-36. doi: 10.1016/j.tpb.2023.03.001


Our understanding of aposematism (the conspicuous signalling of a defence for the deterrence of predators) has advanced notably since its first observation in the late nineteenth century. Indeed, it extends the scope of a well-established game-theoretical model of this very same process both from the analytical standpoint (by considering regimes of varying background mortality and colony size) and from the practical standpoint (by assessing its efficacy and limitations in predicting the evolution of prey traits in finite simulated populations). The nature of the manuscript at hand is more mathematical and it’s aim is two-fold: first, to determine the relationship between evolutionarily stable levels of defence and signal strength under various regimes of background mortality and colony size. Second, to compare these predictions with simulations of finite prey populations that are subject to random local mutation. We compare the roles of absolute resident fitness, mutant fitness and stochasticity in the evolution of prey traits and discuss the importance of population size in the above.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons CC-BY license, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Publisher Keywords: Aposematism, ESS, Chemical defence, Numerical simulation
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics
Q Science > QD Chemistry
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Mathematics
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