How bad is to be slow-reacting?
On the effect of the delay in response to a changing environment on a population's survival
University of Geneva, Theoretical Physics Department, Quai E. Ansermet no. 24, 1211 Geneva 4, Switzerland
2 Institute of Theoretical Physics, University of Wrocław, Pl. M. Borna 9, 50-204 Wrocław, Poland
Corresponding author: a Ioana.Bena@physics.unige.ch
Revised: 19 March 2008
Published online: 16 April 2008
We consider a simple-model population, whose individuals react with a certain delay to temporal variations of their habitat. We investigate the impact of such a delayed-answer on the survival chances of the population, both in a periodically changing environment, and in the case of an abrupt change of it. It is found that for populations with low degree of mutation-induced variability, being "slow-reacting" decreases the extinction risk due to environmental changes. On the contrary, for populations with high mutation amplitude, the delayed reaction reduces the survival chances.
PACS: 87.23.Cc – Population dynamics and ecological pattern formation / 87.18.Tt – Noise in biological systems / 87.10.Rt – Monte Carlo simulations
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, Springer-Verlag, 2008