Range Expansion of Heterogeneous Populations

Range Expansion of Heterogeneous Populations

Matthias Reiter (1), Steffen Rulands (1), Erwin Frey (1 contributed equally)
(Submitted on 25 Mar 2014)

Risk spreading in bacterial populations is generally regarded as a strategy to maximize survival. Here, we study its role during range expansion of a genetically diverse population where growth and motility are two alternative traits. We find that during the initial expansion phase fast growing cells do have a selective advantage. By contrast, asymptotically, generalists balancing motility and reproduction are evolutionarily most successful. These findings are rationalized by a set of coupled Fisher equations complemented by stochastic simulations.

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