The dynamics of adaptation: An illuminating example and a Hamilton-Jacobi approach

Odo Diekmann, Pierre Emanuel Jabin, Stéphane Mischler, Benoît Perthame

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

162 Scopus citations


Our starting point is a selection-mutation equation describing the adaptive dynamics of a quantitative trait under the influence of an ecological feedback loop. Based on the assumption of small (but frequent) mutations we employ asymptotic analysis to derive a Hamilton-Jacobi equation. Well-established and powerful numerical tools for solving the Hamilton-Jacobi equations then allow us to easily compute the evolution of the trait in a monomorphic population when this evolution is continuous but also when the trait exhibits a jump. By adapting the numerical method we can, at the expense of a significantly increased computing time, also capture the branching event in which a monomorphic population turns dimorphic and subsequently follow the evolution of the two traits in the dimorphic population. From the beginning we concentrate on a caricatural yet interesting model for competition for two resources. This provides the perhaps simplest example of branching and has the great advantage that it can be analyzed and understood in detail.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)257-271
Number of pages15
JournalTheoretical Population Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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