DOI: 10.1101/488759Dec 6, 2018Paper

Destabilizing evolutionary and eco-evolutionary feedbacks drive empirical eco-evolutionary cycles

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Michael H CortezSebastian J Schreiber


We develop a method to identify how ecological, evolutionary, and eco-evolutionary feedbacks influence system stability. We apply our method to nine empirically-parameterized eco-evolutionary models of exploiter-victim systems from the literature and identify which particular feedbacks cause some systems to converge to a steady state or to exhibit sustained oscillations. We find that ecological feedbacks involving the interactions between all species and evolutionary and eco-evolutionary feedbacks involving only the interactions between exploiter species (predators or pathogens) are typically stabilizing. In contrast, evolutionary and eco-evolutionary feedbacks involving the interactions between victim species (prey or hosts) are destabilizing more often than not. We also find that while eco-evolutionary feedbacks rarely altered system stability from what would be predicted from just ecological and evolutionary feedbacks, eco-evolutionary feedbacks have the potential to alter system stability at faster or slower speeds of evolution. As the number of empirical studies demonstrating eco-evolutionary feedbacks increases, we can continue to apply these methods to determine whether the patterns we observe are common in other empiric...Continue Reading

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