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The different limits of weak selection and the evolutionary dynamics of finite populations

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Wild, G., & Traulsen, A. (2007). The different limits of weak selection and the evolutionary dynamics of finite populations. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 247(2), 382-390. doi:10.1016/j.jtbi.2007.03.015.

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Evolutionary theory often resorts to weak selection, where different individuals have very similar fitness. Here, we relate two ways to introduce weak selection. The first considers evolutionary games described by payoff matrices with similar entries. This approach has recently attracted a lot of interest in the context of evolutionary game dynamics in finite populations. The second way to introduce weak selection is based on small distances in phenotype space and is a standard approach in kin-selection theory. Whereas both frameworks are interchangeable for constant fitness, frequency-dependent selection shows significant differences between them. We point out the difference between both limits of weak selection and discuss the condition under which the differences vanish. It turns out that this condition is fulfilled by the popular parametrization of the prisoner's dilemma in benefits and costs. However, for general payoff matrices differences between the two frameworks prevail. (C) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.