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J Evol Biol. 2005 Sep;18(5):1139-54.

20 questions on adaptive dynamics.

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Centre for the Study of Evolution, School of Life Sciences, University of Sussex, Brighton, Sussex, UK.


Adaptive Dynamics is an approach to studying evolutionary change when fitness is density or frequency dependent. Modern papers identifying themselves as using this approach first appeared in the 1990s, and have greatly increased up to the present. However, because of the rather technical nature of many of the papers, the approach is not widely known or understood by evolutionary biologists. In this review we aim to remedy this situation by outlining the methodology and then examining its strengths and weaknesses. We carry this out by posing and answering 20 key questions on Adaptive Dynamics. We conclude that Adaptive Dynamics provides a set of useful approximations for studying various evolutionary questions. However, as with any approximate method, conclusions based on Adaptive Dynamics are valid only under some restrictions that we discuss.

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