Evolution of flowering decisions in a stochastic, density-dependent environment

C. J.E. Metcalf, K. E. Rose, D. Z. Childs, A. W. Sheppard, P. J. Grubb, M. Rees

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Demography is central to both ecology and evolution, and characterizing the feedback between ecology and evolution is critical for understanding organisms' life histories and how these might evolve through time. Here, we show how, by combining a range of theoretical approaches with the statistical analysis of individually structured databases, accurate prediction of life history decisions is possible in natural density-regulated populations undergoing large fluctuations in demographic rates from year to year. Our predictions are remarkably accurate and statistically well defined. In addition, we show that the predicted trait values are evolutionarily and convergence stable and that protected polymorphisms are possible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10466-10470
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number30
StatePublished - Jul 29 2008
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


  • Adaptive dynamics
  • Carduus nutans
  • Carlina vulgaris
  • Coexistence
  • Relative nonlinearity of competition


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