Demographic noise can lead to the spontaneous formation of species

T. Rogers, A. J. McKane, A. G. Rossberg

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29 Citations (Scopus)


When a collection of phenotypically diverse organisms compete with each other for limited resources, the population can evolve into tightly localised clusters. Past studies have neglected the effects of demographic noise and studied the population on a macroscopic scale, where cluster formation is found to depend on the shape of the curve describing the decline of competition strength with phenotypic distance. Here we show how including the effects of demographic noise leads to a radically different conclusion. Two situations are identified: a weak-noise regime in which the population exhibits patterns of fluctuation around the macroscopic description, and a strong-noise regime where clusters appear spontaneously even in the case that all organisms have equal fitness. editor's choice Copyright (C) EPLA, 2012

Original languageEnglish
Article number40008
Pages (from-to)-
Number of pages6
JournalEurophysics Letters (EPL)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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