From nest site lottery to host lottery: continuous model of growth suppression driven by the availability of nest sites for newborns or hosts for parasites and its impact on the selection of life history strategies.

Theory in Biosciences = Theorie in Den Biowissenschaften
K Argasinski, Ryszard Rudnicki


The idea that selection works in different ways during free population growth and at the equilibrium population size has been present in theoretical biology for a long time. It was first expressed as an r and K selection concept and later clarified in the debate on fitness measures in life history theory. The latest discussion related to this topic is focused on the nest site lottery mechanism and the resulting new population growth model. In this mechanistic biphasic model, the suppression of growth is induced by a shortage of free nest sites for newborns. Before it occurs, the population can grow exponentially. In this paper, the continuous version of the model and its selective properties are analysed. We show a continuous smooth transition between different fitness measures operating during the exponential growth and suppressed growth phase and at the equilibrium population size. Then, the model is extended to the case of a population of parasites, where a constant number of nest sites is replaced by the dynamics of a population of their hosts, in the role of the limiting supply. Parasite strategies are selected under exponential and suppressed growth phases of the population of hosts. Transitions between different fitness ...Continue Reading


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