This material has been published in the Journal of Theoretical Biology (2002, vol 217, pp 535-545), the only definitive repository of the content that has been certified and accepted after peer review. Copyright and all rights therein are retained by Academic Press. This material may not be copied or reposted without explicit permission (Copyright 2002 by Academic Press).

A Lotka-Volterra model of coexistence between a sexual population and multiple asexual clones

Graeme E. Pound, C. Patrick Doncaster and Simon J. Cox

At carrying capacity, small advantages in competitive ability can compensate a sexual population for its two-fold disadvantage in growth capacity when facing invasion by asexual mutants. In this paper we develop a generic analytical model to consider the ecology of a sexual population comprising equal numbers of males and females, competing for shared prey resources with multiple female-only clones. We assume the clones arise from the sexual population and are distinguished from it only by having narrower resource niches and twice the growth capacity. For sexual populations at density dependent carrying capacity, intra-specific competition between clonal individuals prevents them from realising their two-fold advantage in intrinsic growth. This prediction leads to three novel outcomes: (i) a sexual population can coexist with any number of clones, provided their combined competitive impact remains less than the impact of the clones on each other; (ii) a sexual species can immediately exclude asexual invaders if it is a fast growing and strong competitor of shared resources and also has refuge in an abundant alternative resource; (iii) the rate of accumulation of clones in a sexual population will be slowed by intra- and inter-specific competition amongst the clones themselves, in addition to the competitive impact from the original sexual population.

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Pound, G. E., Doncaster, C. P. & Cox, S. J. (2002) A Lotka-Volterra model of coexistence between a sexual population and multiple asexual clones. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 217: 535-545.

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