Evolution of learning in subdivided populations that occupy environmentally heterogeneous sites

Kenichi Aoki*, Wataru Nakahashi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


We study the effects of natural selection and migration on the numbers of individual learners and social learners in subdivided populations that occupy environmentally heterogeneous sites. The island model and the circular stepping model each have four classes of globally stable equilibria (fixation of individual learners, polymorphism of individual and social learners, fixation of social learners, and extinction). The linear stepping stone model has an additional class of equilibria, which are characterized by the complete absence of phenotypes adapted to the interior sites. Low and high rates of migration favor social and individual learners, respectively, in all three models. In addition, we use the stepping stone models to study the range expansion of a species, initially confined to one environmentally homogeneous site, into the spatially heterogeneous world. The successive peaks of the transient spatial distributions of the number of individual learners occur at initially empty sites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)356-368
Number of pages13
JournalTheoretical Population Biology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Dec
Externally publishedYes


  • Burst of innovative behaviors
  • Irregular migration pattern
  • Maladaptive behavior
  • Population size at equilibrium
  • Range expansion
  • Stepping stone models
  • Transient spatial distribution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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