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Bet-hedging strategies in expanding populations Pigolotti, Simone


Ecological species can spread their extinction risk in an uncertain environment by adopting a bet-hedging strategy, i.e, by diversifying individual phenotypes. I will present a theory of bet-hedging for populations colonizing an unknown environment that fluctuates either in space or time. We find that diversification is more favorable for range expansion than in the well-mixed case, supporting the view that range expansions promote diversification. For slow rates of variation, spatial fluctuations open more opportunities for bet-hedging than temporal variations. Opportunities for bet-hedging reduce in the limit of frequent environmental variations. These conclusions are robust against demographic stochasticity induced by finite population sizes. Ref. P. Villa-Martin, M.A. Muñoz, S. Pigolotti, Plos Comp. Biol. 15(4): e1006529 (2019).

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