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Mathematics  2015 

Rare mutations limit of a steady state dispersion trait model

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Abstract:

The evolution of dispersal is a classical question in evolutionary ecology, which has been widely studied with several mathematical models. The main question is to define the fittest dispersal rate for a population in a bounded domain, and, more recently, for traveling waves in the full space. In the present study, we reformulate the problem in the context of adaptive evolution. We consider a population structured by space and a genetic trait acting directly on the dispersal (diffusion) rate under the effect of rare mutations on the genetic trait. We show that, as in simpler models, in the limit of vanishing mutations, the population concentrates on a single trait associated to the lowest dispersal rate. We also explain how to compute the evolution speed towards this evolutionary stable distribution. The mathematical interest stems from the asymptotic analysis which requires a completely different treatment of the different variables. For the space variable, the ellipticity leads to the use the maximum principle and Sobolev-type regularity results. For the trait variable, the concentration to a Dirac mass requires a different treatment. This is based on the WKB method and viscosity solutions leading to an effective Hamiltonian (effective fitness of the population) and a constrained Hamilton-Jacobi equation.

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