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Acta Biotheoretica 48:107-120 (2000)Download free pdf

Interference competition set limits to the fundamental theorem of natural selection

Lars Witting

Abstract: The relationship between Fisher's fundamental theorem of natural selection and the ecological environment of density regulation is examined. Using a linear model, it is shown that the theorem holds when density regulation is caused by exploitative competition and that the theorem fails with interference competition. In the latter case the theorem holds only at the limit of zero population density and/or at the limit where the competitively superior individuals cannot monopolise the resource. The results are discussed in relation to population dynamics and life history evolution, where evidence suggests that the level of interference competition in natural populations is so high that the fundamental theorem does not apply.

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